Northwest Indiana legislators said they are in support of bills looking to close some of the loopholes in the state’s sex offender laws.
One of those bills would ban sexually violent predators or offenders against children from working as a child care provider or baby sitter, while the other prevents a convicted sex or violent offender from petitioning for a name change.
“A lot of the issues that I’ve taken on are all things just like that, where there’s this loophole where it’s a small issue that needs to be fixed,” Rep. Ragen Hatcher, D-Gary, co-author of the name change bill, said.
A person who has been added to the state’s sex and violent offender registry could try to request a name change for various reasons, such as if they want to try to avoid the stigma of their conviction or had their case reported on in the news, according to Hatcher.
The law already prohibits a person confined in a department of correction facility from petitioning for a name change, and Hatcher said this bill would add convicted sex and violent offenders to that list.
Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, proposed his own bill, which would ban sex offenders from working as a baby sitter, as a child care provider or for a child care provider, after hearing about an incident in Anderson, he said.