senate Bill S3958B

Prohibits the dissemination of an image of a crime victim by public servants

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 10 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 10 / Jun / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 10 / Jun / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 3958A
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 24 / May / 2012
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 24 / May / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 3958B

Summary

Creates the crime of dissemination of an image of a crime scene; makes a person guilty of such crime where the person is a public servant and, while in the course of the public servant's official duties, records a still image or motion picture of a crime victim and broadcasts or publishes such images or motion pictures outside of the course of conduct of the public servant's official duties; makes such crime a class A misdemeanor.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6376B
Versions:
S3958
S3958A
S3958B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง250.70, Pen L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3958B

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the penal law, in relation to prohibiting the dissem-
ination of an image of a crime victim by public servants

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
"Caroline's Law" would make it a class A misdemeanor for a public serv-
ant -- or anyone acting as a public servant -- to broadcast or publish
an image of a crime victim outside of their official duties.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill would add a new section 250.70 to the penal law to make it a
class A misdemeanor - punishable by up to one imprisonment and a fine -
for a public servant or anyone acting as a public servant to broadcast
or publish an image of a crime victim outside of their official duties.

JUSTIFICATION:
In March 2009, a 26 year-old woman named Caroline Wimmer was brutally
murdered in her West Brighton, Staten Island apartment. Caroline was a
charming and fun-loving young woman, popular amongst her friends and
beloved by her family. Emergency personnel arrived on the scene shortly
after Caroline's horrified mother found her on the floor of her bath-
room. Inexplicably and shockingly, one of the EMTs on the scene - Mark
Musarella took a picture of Caroline and later posted it on his Facebook
page.

Despite the egregiousness of this act, Musarella could only be charged
with the simple misdemeanor of official conduct; he would later plea
down to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, a mere violation no more
serious than trespassing or possession of a small amount of marijuana.
He also received only 200 hours of community service and no jail time.

New York State law must be updated to address situations like this; it
is clear from the outcome of Mark Musarella's prosecution that current
law is inadequate in this area. This bill would bring the relevant Penal
Law section into the modern age and ensure that any public official who
commits a ghastly, insensitive and appalling act such as this will face
a serious criminal charge and potential jail time. It will further help
deter such actions and try to ensure that no family will have to experi-
ence the double horror that the Wimmers did. Further, this law would
strongly promote the training of public servants to encourage proper and
respectful treatment of crime victim images and discourage egregious
acts like this.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011 - Died in the Codes Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after becoming
law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3958--B

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 10, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. SAVINO, ADAMS, CARLUCCI, ESPAILLAT, GOLDEN, JOHNSON,
  KLEIN,  LANZA,  LARKIN,  PERKINS,  VALESKY  --  read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Codes
  in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill
  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
  tee

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to  prohibiting  the  dissem-
  ination of an image of a crime victim by public servants

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as  "Caroline's
Law".
  S  2.  The penal law is amended by adding a new section 250.70 to read
as follows:
S 250.70 DISSEMINATION OF AN IMAGE OF A CRIME VICTIM.
  1. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DISSEMINATION OF AN IMAGE OF A  CRIME  VICTIM
WHERE  (A) THE PERSON IS A PUBLIC SERVANT OR IS PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF
A PUBLIC SERVANT IN RESPONDING TO AN EMERGENCY CALL; (B)  WHILE  IN  THE
COURSE  OF  HIS  OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES, RECORDS A STILL IMAGE OR MOTION
PICTURE OF A CRIME VICTIM; AND (C) BROADCASTS OR PUBLISHES  SUCH  IMAGES
OR  MOTION PICTURES OUTSIDE OF THE COURSE OF CONDUCT OF THE PUBLIC SERV-
ANT'S OFFICIAL DUTIES.
  2. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
  (A) "BROADCAST" MEANS ELECTRONICALLY TRANSMITTING A VISUAL IMAGE  WITH
THE INTENT THAT IT BE VIEWED BY A PERSON.
  (B)  "DISSEMINATE"  MEANS TO GIVE, PROVIDE, LEND, DELIVER, MAIL, SEND,
FORWARD, TRANSFER OR TRANSMIT, ELECTRONICALLY OR  OTHERWISE  TO  ANOTHER
PERSON.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08550-05-2

S. 3958--B                          2

  (C) "PUBLISH" MEANS TO (I) POST, PRESENT, DISPLAY, EXHIBIT, CIRCULATE,
ADVERTISE OR ALLOW ACCESS, ELECTRONICALLY OR OTHERWISE, SO AS TO MAKE AN
IMAGE  OR  IMAGES  AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC; OR (II) DISSEMINATE WITH THE
INTENT THAT AN IMAGE OR IMAGES BE POSTED, PRESENTED,  DISPLAYED,  EXHIB-
ITED,  CIRCULATED,  ADVERTISED  OR  MADE  ACCESSIBLE,  ELECTRONICALLY OR
OTHERWISE AND TO MAKE SUCH IMAGE OR IMAGES AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.
  DISSEMINATION OF AN IMAGE OF A CRIME VICTIM IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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