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Hillsborough

Judge Chet Tharpe, who presided over the sex crimes court for 14 years, is known for dramatic pronouncements and sometimes lengthy sentences.

Hillsborough's controversial sex offender court is disbanded

TAMPA — For 14 years, criminal cases involving accused rapists, molesters and child abusers in Hillsborough County have been heard by a single judge in the sex offender division. Advocates of this highly specialized court for pedophiles and predators call it a smart, efficient way to handle difficult cases with uni …

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