ACLU files lawsuit claiming RFRA should allow sex offenders to worship at any church

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2015)- A new law makes it a crime for serious sex offenders to go to certain churches.

As of July 1, it is a felony for a serious sex offender to go onto school property and that includes a church that is connected to a school.

“That means the person can no longer attend worship even though of course it’s on a Sunday and of course school is closed,” explains Ken Falk, with the ACLU.

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit claiming the law burdens the rights of sex offenders and is using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to back its fight. The ACLU once opposed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We think the law is unconstitutional and unlawful under RFRA and the law should be struck down. If the legislature wants to address it in a more narrowed fashion it certainly can,” says Falk.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of two sex offenders in Elkhart and Allen County.

“As of today it’s a crime for these persons to attend worship,” explains Falk.

Allen County Sheriff’s Office told our crews they have no comment at this time. Our crews had yet to hear from Elkhart County by the time our story aired.

A serious sex offender is classified as a sexually violent predator or someone who has been convicted of crimes like child molesting, child seduction, child solicitation, possessing child pornography, or sexual misconduct with a minor