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NY court frees sex offender from civil confinement

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s highest court says authorities can’t lock up a sex offender who committed no more crimes after leaving prison even though his counselors found him sarcastic, defensive and uncooperative with supervision.

At issue is court-ordered “civil confinement” once an offender’s criminal sentence is completed.

The Court of Appeals says there isn’t enough evidence that Michael M. is unable to control himself and likely to be dangerous to others unless confined.

Instead, the court says he should return to supervision in the community.

He pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually abusing two young girls, spent a decade in state prison and two years free before he was ordered confined again.

New York has more than 300 sex offenders confined under a 2007 law and about 100 getting intensive supervision and treatment in communities.