TAUNTON – State Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, R-Taunton, wants to put an end to what she calls a loophole that allows registered sex offenders to legally change their names.
O’Connell, who is running in this year’s Taunton mayoral race, filed legislation a week ago to prohibit convicted sex offenders from changing their name to hide their identity.
She said that more than a dozen cosponsors in the House signed the bill that she says in the end will protect children and families.
A story last January by Boston 25 News reported that a Level 3 sex offender had legally changed his name in 2013.
The Brighton man reportedly changed his last name after serving time in prison, after pleading guilty in 2010 to four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
The story generated media interest, in part because of national coverage of his company’s design concept to use solar-powered pods traveling on a network of elevated public transportation tracks.
During an interview, the man said he wasn’t trying to conceal his status but that he changed his name when he wasn’t able to find a job, mainly because of search engines like Google.