Court agrees some N Carolina sex offender limits unlawful

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld lower court rulings that found portions of North Carolina law restricting where registered sex offenders can gather are unconstitutional because they’re overly broad or vague.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday affirmed the federal lower court decisions, which the state appealed.

One provision successfully challenged by several registered offenders who sued in 2013 prohibited them from going to places where minors gather for educational, recreation or social programs. The other restriction prevented them from being within 300 feet of certain locations where children are cared for or supervised.

The legislature last summer approved replacements for the challenged laws while on appeal. The appeals court didn’t consider the amended laws.