A man from Portland, legally known as Avril Lavigne, is in trouble for not registering as a sex offender in Oregon. He claims it's all a big misunderstanding and told a Multnomah County judge that in court on Tuesday. "I'm already properly registered. I filled out the papers in January, in jail," Lavigne said in court. While Lavigne protested that there is confusion over his sex registry status, the prosecutor questioned the legality of his name. "I do have a question first, judge. He said that this is his correct full name, 'Avril Lavigne.' Is that his true name?" asked the prosecutor.
"That is the true name I was given," replied the public defender.
Court records show a judge approved Lavigne's request to change his name from "Romany Yves Mesina" to "Avril Lavigne" in November of 2014. The records don't indicate why he chose that name, or wanted to change his own name.
Portland police arrested Lavigne on Monday night. Investigators put out a warrant for Lavigne's arrest because they discovered he didn't properly register as a sex offender after they received a tip that he was following young women and teens on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, taking photos of them, and posting them online.
Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said it's his understanding that Lavigne didn't include a correct address when he registered. Simpson said sex offenders, even non-violent offenders such as Lavigne, are required to register every two years and include a current address.
Lavigne said in court he is registered.
"I've already filled out the sex offender registration in January, in jail, and I got released. 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," he explained to the judge.
In 2009, Lavigne, who then went by Mesina, was convicted of attempted rape and sex abuse.
"We plead not guilty. We request new court dates. And we do wish to be heard on release," the public defender told the judge.
Court records also show police have arrested Lavigne more than a dozen times since that 2009 arrest. He was convicted of reckless burning and spent two weeks in jail in 2014. He also didn't complete an anger management class, according to court records.
Still, Lavigne begged the judge to let him out of jail on Tuesday afternoon.
"Will you let me out tonight?" Lavigne asked.
"No!" said the judge.
The judge did give Lavigne an exception to that no. He told Lavigne he could get released early if pre-trial release services reviews his case and approves his release.
Lavigne said in court he's homeless. The prosecutor said he has a history of not showing up to court appearances, so it's possible he will stay in jail for now. He's due back in court on May 11.
With news video and a large gallery of Avril Lavigne's mugshots over the years.