INDIANAPOLIS—Yesterday, Senate Bill (SB) 295, a proposal offered by State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) was approved by the State Senate. The legislation addresses a loophole in current Indiana code concerning sex offenders and their ability to attend religious services held at school locations when children are present.
Last year, a court ruling declared that individuals on the sex offender registry can exercise their First Amendment Right to practice religion, even if the service takes place at a location that is also used as a school, where sex offenders cannot visit. SB 295 would allow a sex offender to visit a school property only if a religious institution is located on the school property, and the offender visits the grounds with the sole purpose of attending a religious service and there are no classes or extracurricular activities being held at the time.
“I find sex offenses towards children to be the worst kind of crimes. SB 295 prevents the offenders from attending a school other than for religious services when children are present,” Sen. Mrvan said. “As a legislator, the most important thing we must do at the Statehouse is protect our children.”
SB 295 now moves to the House or Representatives for consideration.