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IN: Churches aren’t school property; sex offenders can attend

[theindianalawyer.com]

Three convicted Boone County sex offenders can return to their church congregations after the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that churches are not considered “school property,” so state statute cannot prohibit the offenders from going to church, even when children are present.

The appellate court handed down that decision Tuesday in John Doe 1, et al., v. The Boone County Prosecutor, in his official capacity, et al., 06A01-1612-PL-2741. The case dates to 2015, when the Indiana General Assembly passed the “unlawful entry by a serious sex offender” statute, Indiana Code section 35-42-4-14. That statute prohibits “serious sex offenders” from accessing school property.

According to the statute, “school property” is defined as any “nonprofit program or service operated to … benefit children who are at least three years of age and not yet enrolled in kindergarten.” Based on that language, the Boone County prosecutor sent a letter to all registered sex offenders in the county informing them they could only attend church if their churches do not offer classes or services for young children.

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Join the discussion

  1. Harry

    Churches are for adults with children attachments, which are totally different from schools, which, are for children with adult instruction. I guest our dumb down government can not figure that out, which, brings up the question what did they do in school?

  2. AJ

    Whew, good thing I’m a “gregarious sex offender.” Once again, the courts are adding some sanity to the mix. Thank God for that!

  3. Cool CA RC

    so will the Boone County prosecutor sent a letter to all registered sex offenders in the county informing them they can go back to church?
    It seems like it only applies to 3 RC?

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