The case of Dennis Wayne Woolbert, a convicted child rapist who adopted the name Allison Denise Woolbert and engaged in abusive transgender activism, raises issues regarding who should be allowed to transition legally. One of the ways in which people transition is through adopting a new legal name. All states have name change statutes or regulations that specify the process for changing one’s name. Transsexual Road Map has a resource that tracks state law requirements.
We support the right of transsexuals to legally change their names as part of a transition to live socially as the stereotype of a Woman or Man.
However, we also believe that individuals convicted of violent crimes, particularly sex crimes, should never be granted a legal name change. Unfortunately, state requirements on this point vary.
Some states, like Wyoming, make no inquiry into the criminal record of the applicant. Other states, like Florida, require the applicant to submit fingerprints for a criminal records search, while still others, like Minnesota, make such authority to obtain fingerprints at the discretion of the court.
And what about New Jersey, where Dennis Wayne Woolbert, now known as Allison Denise Woolbert, committed his crime of child rape, served his prison sentence, and became a trans activist?
New Jersey’s courts have prepared a pro se applicant package with details instructions about how to obtain a legal name change. New Jersey law requires the applicant to affirm whether or not he was ever convicted of a crime. If Woolbert applied for a name change, he would have had to disclose his criminal record.
Did Allison Woolbert ever file a legal name change? He did.
QUERY WHAT JUDGE THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO ALLOW A CHILD RAPIST TO LEGALLY CHANGE HIS NAME?
All states should require applicants to disclose whether they have a criminal record. Courts should be required, as part of their evaluation of the application, to review criminal records to determine the accuracy of the applicant’s statements. In the event the applicant has been convicted of a felony crime of violence or any crime of sexual violence, the application for a legal name change should be denied. The legal system should not be used by convicted violent felons and convicted sex offenders to hide their criminal pasts.