- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested a 30-year-old convicted rapist who changed his name to Avril Lavigne for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender.

Lavigne, also known as Romany Yves Mesina, was apprehended Monday evening, a few hours after the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Offender Registration Detail appealed to the public for help finding him.

Lavigne officially changed his name in 2014 to match that of the Grammy-nominated Canadian pop singer responsible for hit songs including “Sk8er Boi” and “Complicated.” According to the New York Daily News, however, neither of his names could be found this week on Oregon’s online sex offender registry as required following a sex crime conviction seven years earlier.

Lavigne was convicted of second-degree rape in 2009, and Portland authorities  warned this week that he was being sought in connection with reports of a man accused of stalking young women in the region with a camera and posting their pictures to social media.

“That in itself isn’t a crime,” Sgt. Pete Simpson said. “[But] you pair that activity with the fact that he’s a registered sex offender and he’s actually wanted for failing to register right now, it’s important to us to put that out into the community.”

Lavigne defended himself in a Multnomah County court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty after being accused of failing to register as a sex offender.

“I’ve already filled out the sex offender registration in January, in jail, and I got released,” Lavigne told a judge, according toPortland’s ABC News affiliate. “I got brought back because they thought I failed to register and then they found out I did register and they let me out again.” Lavigne told the court.

Lavigne has been arrested at least 15 times in Multnomah County since 2009, ABC reported. A police spokesperson said he failed to include his proper address the last time he registered, the affiliate reported.

Lavigne, who admitted in court to having been diagnosed with schizophrenia and being off his medication, is scheduled to appear in court again next week.

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