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Vermont Paper Aware of Reporter's Sex Offense

The publisher of a Vermont newspaper is defending his paper's hiring of a convicted sex offender to cover police and courts.

Barre-Montpelier Times Argus Publisher R. John Mitchell says it's important to punish those who break the law but also offer an opportunity for rehabilitation.

In a Thursday story by a reporter for a sister publication, Times Argus Editor Steven Pappas says that Eric Blaisdell disclosed his crime when he applied for the job in June. Pappas checked references and with the New Hampshire Department of Corrections. All said Blaisdell posed no risk to the public.

Blaisdell served nine months following a 2007 arrest for soliciting sex via computer with a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be a police officer. He had no physical contact with anyone.

Blaisdell said he didn't intend to do anything wrong.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.