Crusading ex-Pa. lawmaker takes in sex offenders

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) -- A former tough-on-crime Pennsylvania lawmaker has a new cause that's angered his neighbors, drawn pickets and touched off a zoning dispute.

He's taken in three convicted sex offenders who couldn't find a place to live.

Tom Armstrong says he's drawing on his religious belief in forgiveness and sheltering them until he can open a halfway house for sex offenders.

In early June, Armstrong allowed the men to move into his 15-room century-old home in Marietta, 75 miles west of Philadelphia, after another town blocked his plans for the halfway house.

Armstrong's address now appears on the state Web site that lists the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders.

When word got out, residents began packing community meetings, circulating fliers with the men's mugshots and pressing officials for action.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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