Senator Alesi Announces The Passage Of Legislation To Strengthen Megan's Law
Senator Jim Alesi (R/C-Perinton) today announced that the Senate passed a bill (S.6019), which he sponsors, that makes it a class E felony for a sex offender to submit fraudulent information regarding his or her identity or residence when registering or verifying the State Sex Offender Registry.
In Monroe County, a sex offender required to register under Megan’s Law, circumvented the law by giving a false address to the registry. The man, who failed to properly register, had been previously convicted of raping a Rochester girl and served three years in prison for his offense. When released from prison, he was given the highest risk rating possible. He first registered with the sex offender registry in 1996, but it was discovered that he had intentionally deceived law enforcement personnel and had broken the law until 2001, when his renewal form was returned as undeliverable after it was sent to the wrong address.
"The object of Megan’s law is to increase public safety and awareness by insuring that people in the community are informed when sex offenders move into the neighborhood," said Senator Alesi. "Without accurate information being given to the registry, the law becomes unenforceable. This is a potentially dangerous situation which should not be tolerated and should be punishable."
In charging the sex offender, the prosecutor in Monroe County had to rely on various statutes outside of the registry statute in Megan’s Law. Although the sex offender was charged with a failure to register under Megan’s Law, the first offense as provided by the statute is only an "A" misdemeanor, which results in up to $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Therefore, this legislation would insure that a specific offense is created within the Corrections Law to deal with the offering of false information when registering under Megan’s Law and insure that the offender is appropriately punished as a felon. A class "E" felony results in up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.