Federal Court: Tenn. Sex Offender Laws Are Legal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld Tennessee's tougher sex offender registry laws after a convicted sexual offender claimed the rules violated his rights.

Enacted in 2004, the laws require any convicted sex offender who lives, works or goes to school in Tennessee to register with local law enforcement. Violent offenders were required to check in with sheriff's departments four times a year and wear monitoring devices.

A Knox County man who had been sentenced for aggravated kidnapping and sexual battery before the new laws took effect claimed the state couldn't retroactively reclassify him as a violent sexual offender.

The three-judge panel voted 2-1 in ruling that the constitutional rights of the defendant, identified as "John Doe," were not violated.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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