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Former sex offenders can’t be automatically barred from Newport city buildings, including library and sports areas

The Newport City Council Monday night learned they cannot forbid ex-sex offenders from entering city buildings like the library, recreation center and city hall. Through a memo to the council, the city attorney said that such an outright ban on ex-sex offenders is unconstitutional according to the U.S. Supreme Court. So, under the advice of their city attorney, the council rescinded the ban.

In another matter relating to bad behavior, the council was able to pass a new law that allows especially troublesome people to be removed from public buildings. They can be warned. If that doesn’t work, they can be removed and banned for extended periods of time. If they come back anyway, they can be cited or be taken to the county jail and charged with trespass. Buildings protected include city hall, city recreation center, library and other heavily used public buildings within the city.

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