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When President-elect Trump selected Alabama senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general, many conservatives cheered. Immigration hardliners were thrilled to have one of their own in the position, while other conservatives saw Sessions as the type of dynamic presence needed to clean out the Stygian morass of President Obama’s Justice Department. “A sensible pick that promises to restore some integrity to a Justice Department tarnished by eight...

Ruling that allowed kids in sex offender’s home spurs lawmaker


LINCOLN — Reactions ranged from bewilderment to outrage over a Nebraska Supreme Court decision earlier this year that allowed two girls to remain in the home of a felony sex offender.

And the decision set a clear precedent, said Brandon Brinegar, the Kearney lawyer who represented the biological father who had tried to remove the girls from the sex offender’s residence. Brinegar said lawmakers would have to act to prevent similar rulings in the future.

That’s just what a state senator from Omaha intends to do in the upcoming session of the Legislature.

“I wouldn’t want my kids subjected to that environment,” State Sen. Brett Lindstrom said this week. “That just doesn’t sit well with me, and it just seems like it’s something we should do to protect kids.”

The senator has drafted a bill that could make it harder for a parent who wants to live with a convicted sex offender to maintain custody of his or her children.

The proposal is in response to an August ruling by the state’s high court that left the two girls in the home of their stepfather, even though he had served a prison term for sexually assaulting a different 15-year-old stepdaughter from a previous marriage. The court ruled against the biological father, who had attempted to remove the girls from the living situation in a small community in south-central Nebraska.

The current law presumes a child is at risk when a felony sex offender occupies the same residence. But it also allows the parent who chooses to live with a sex offender to present evidence that mitigates the risk.

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