McNamara: House supports bill banning violent criminals from changing their names

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:34 am

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 30, 2019) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation co-authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) that would prohibit violent offenders from legally changing their names.

McNamara said under House Bill 1208, individuals convicted of murder, rape, sexual battery, kidnapping, human trafficking and other heinous crimes would be restricted from filing for a name change in Indiana. She said this measure would better protect Hoosiers by ensuring serious offenders are not able to use an existing loophole to hide their identities, especially with statistics showing sex offenders are repeat criminals.

“Being aware of predators in the community is important for residents in the area, victims of violent crimes and businesses hiring new staff,” McNamara said. “Hoosiers should not have to worry about violent offenders putting the public at risk after a simple name change. This legislation will ensure the public can identify those with a history of violent and sexual offenses.”

Under current law, a loophole allows for offenders sentenced to a DOC facility prior to 1998 to petition for a name change.

House Bill 1208 now moves to the Senate for consideration. To learn more, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76,
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.