Computer Ban for Sex Offender Thrown Out

Judges say ban hinders rehab

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    Federal corruption trial of Shelton developer begins in New Haven.

    Even though he was jailed for using the Internet to try to hook up with an underage girl, a federal appeals court ruled that a Maryland man should not be banned from using a computer.

    Mark Wayne Russell of Columbia was arrested in a 2006 sex sting trying to meet someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. As part of his sentence, Russell was ordered not to own or use a computer for any reason for 30 years after his release from prison.

    A three-judge panel agreed with Russell's lawyers, who'd argued that the restriction was too harsh, because it's often necessary to use a computer to apply for or work at many jobs.

    The 30-year ban would hinder Russell's rehabilitation, the judges decided.