N.H. Supreme Court says sex predator hearings should be open

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The lawyer for a New Hampshire newspaper will ask a judge to release sealed documents from legal efforts aimed at keeping a convicted sex offender locked up.

William DeCato served 8 years in prison. He was due to be released last January when prosecutors tried to detain him under a new law for sexual predators. DeCato was eventually released when prosecutors decided they could not prove he remained a danger to the public.

The public was barred from Superior Court hearings related to DeCato’s possible detention.

The Concord Monitor and the New Hampshire Union Leader went to the state Supreme Court to get access to the minutes from those hearings and other documents.

Today the court ruled in the newspapers’ favor and the lawyer for the Monitor says he will ask the Superior Court to release the documents.

The high court opinion says future hearings under the sexual predators law should be public unless a judge finds good reason to close them.

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