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State Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond

State Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond

INDIANAPOLIS — A loophole in state law that allows individuals previously convicted of sex crimes against children to offer baby-sitting services is set to be closed, thanks in part to state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond.

The Indiana Senate voted 48-0 Tuesday to bar sexually violent predators and child sex offenders from working or volunteering as a child care provider or baby sitter, or living in a home where child care services or baby-sitting are provided.

Mrvan said in a written statement that he filed Senate Bill 258 after learning last year that an Indiana sex offender was advertising his services as a baby sitter through a website.

"Unfortunately, current law does not restrict all registered sex offenders from working in child care services," Mrvan said. "It is imperative that we have the necessary laws in place to keep our children safe and protected."

State law already prohibits child sex offenders from working at a school, youth program center or public park at any time following their release from prison.

A violation of that statute, or the baby-sitting provisions, if enacted, is a level 6 felony punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The proposal now goes to the House.

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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.