Lawmakers get closer to making it illegal for sex offenders to advertise babysitting services

Indiana Statehouse (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — State lawmakers are inching closer to making it illegal for convicted sex offenders to advertise and work as a babysitter.

The bill was drafted after Madison County authorities realized a loophole prevented them from re-arresting 26-year-old Anthony Carmack.

Carmack has been on Indiana’s sex offender registry since 2013 after being convicted in a child pornography and exploitation case. Last fall, authorities learned Carmack was advertising babysitting services on Facebook.

“If there’s a common sense law, this would be one,” said Robin Hart, owner of the Peanut Gang in-home daycare.

Hart says she was shocked when she learned of the gap in the law. Hart has run a daycare on Indy’s west side, and says she always does her homework when it comes to new employees or volunteers.

“It’s just ridiculous, someone with a felon or crime against children, can work with children,” she said.

Senator Frank Mrvan wrote bill 258 when he learned of the gap in the law.

It seeks to prohibit sex offenders from advertising babysitting online and would ban a sex offender from living at a place where a person provides child care.  Current laws only prohibit convicted sex offenders from working at schools, youth centers, and public parks.

So far, he says the bill has received support from both sides of the aisle.

“It’s an outrageous thing to make a sex offender a babysitter. That’s not only stupid. It’s dangerous,” said Mvran

Parents  we spoke to agree the loophole is just another reminder to make sure you know exactly who is watching your little one.

“It’s all on the parent. Kids don’t have any say in it. We take care of them, it’s up to us,” said Kimberly Miller.

Senate Bill 258 was passed unanimously in committee.

It still has a reading in the Senate, and then it will go to the House. If it passes there, it could go into effect this July.

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