Montville Creates No-Sex-Offender Zones

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    The town of Montville has enacted laws that make some areas off-limit areas to sex offenders, drawing criticism from a civil liberties advocate and some local officials.

    The ordinances create safety zones for children and senior citizens.

    Montville Passes Ordinance Against Sex Offenders

    [HAR] Montville Passes Ordinance Against Sex Offenders
    Montville Passes New Ordinance Against Sex Offenders

    The areas are marked by signs and are intended to keep registered sex offenders from properties owned and leased by the town such as the senior center, senior buses, parks, playgrounds, beaches and sports fields.

    Some town councilors have argued the safety zones put registered sex offenders on notice that the town is watching them.

    William "Billy" Caron, the deputy chairperson, was in favor and said child safety zones are worth every penny if they save even one child from a sexual predator, according to minutes from the meeting in September.

    However, Andrew Schneider, executive director of the state American Civil Liberties Union, told The Day of New London on Wednesday that the restrictions trample on basic rights.

    And he said the laws are ineffective because they do not focus on offenders who are a threat.

    "There's no rationale behind any of this. "It tramples on basic fundamental rights. It seems to be this sort of baseless fear," he told the Day.

    Mayor Ronald McDaniel Jr. told the Day the two zones would not include private property and exceptions were established for sex offenders to enter a municipal building or school to vote, pick up a family member or have a parent-teacher conference.

    Councilor Dana McFee was the only person to abstain from the vote and said this was a "feel good" ordinance with no validity or way to enforce it, according to the meeting minutes.

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