Court takes up case of blind Hartford sex offender denied housing aid

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HARTFORD — The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether the state can apply a 2013 law retroactively to terminate housing aid to sex offenders convicted before the law took effect.

The court will hear arguments Tuesday in the appeal of Francis Shannon, a legally blind Hartford resident who has a 1997 New Jersey conviction for endangering the welfare of children and a 2000 Connecticut conviction for public indecency. He has to register as a sex offender because of the New Jersey conviction.

Shannon is challenging a 2013 decision by the state Department of Housing to terminate the state rental assistance he had been receiving since 2009, based on the new law. He argues the agency improperly applied the law retroactively.

A lower court rejected Shannon’s appeal of the decision.