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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court says three men can be prosecuted under a law barring convicted sex offenders from being within 500 feet of public parks that have swimming pools or playground equipment.

At issue was whether the law violated a ban against retrospective laws. Each man had been convicted of a sexual offense before the statute was adopted.

A divided Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the prohibition on being near such parks is a criminal law, so the prohibition against retrospective laws does not apply.

Two cases were sent back to trial courts where judges had dismissed the charges. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the third man who was appealing.

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