Open Letter to Senate Majority Leader and President Pro-Tempore Dean Skelos

 

April 18, 2011

 

Senator Dean G. Skelos
Senate Majority Leader and President Pro-Tempore
330 CAP
Albany, New York 12247

Dear Majority Leader Skelos:

I am enclosing for your information an article that was published in the Daily News on Friday, April 15, 2011, regarding the serious problem of public prostitution that is taking place near an elementary school in the Bronx.

My bill (S.1313), which I have discussed with you, creates felonies for the crime of prostitution within 1,000 feet of a school in order to combat this most serious issue. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (A.2264).

I am requesting your intervention to move this bill through the legislative process so that it comes to the Senate floor for a vote.  Once it passes the Senate, I am sure that the Assembly will act on it as well before session adjourns in June.  

Thank you again for your assistance in this most urgent matter. I look forward to working with you so that together we may provide our children with the protection they deserve.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you.

Sincerely,

Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District

 

Encl.

 

 
                 STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1313
 
                               2011-2012 Regular Sessions
 
                     IN SENATE
 
                                     January 6, 2011
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes
 
        AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the  offenses
          of  patronizing  a  prostitute  within  one  thousand  feet  of school
          grounds, promoting prostitution within one  thousand  feet  of  school
          grounds,  compelling  prostitution  within one thousand feet of school
          grounds and permitting prostitution within one thousand feet of school
          grounds.
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The penal law is amended by adding a new section 230.06-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3  § 230.06-a Patronizing a prostitute within one thousand feet  of  school
     4  grounds.
     5    1.  Any person who patronizes a prostitute within one thousand feet of
     6  school grounds, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
     7    2. Any person over eighteen years of age, who patronizes a  prostitute
     8  within one thousand feet of school grounds, and the person patronized is
     9  less than fourteen years of age is guilty of a class D felony.
    10    3.  Any person who patronizes a prostitute within one thousand feet of
    11  school grounds and the person patronized is less than  eleven  years  of
    12  age is guilty of a class C felony.
    13    4.  For purposes of this section, "school grounds" shall have the same
    14  meaning as in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter.
    15    § 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 230.32-a to read
    16  as follows:
    17  § 230.32-a Promoting prostitution within one  thousand  feet  of  school
    18  grounds.
    19    1.  Any  person  who  knowingly  advances or profits from prostitution
    20  occurring within one thousand feet of school  grounds  is  guilty  of  a
    21  class E felony.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07305-02-1
        S. 1313                             2
 
     1    2.  Any  person, who knowingly advances or profits from: (a) prostitu-
     2  tion occurring within one thousand feet of school grounds, by  managing,
     3  supervising,  controlling or owning, either alone or in association with
     4  others, a house of prostitution or a  prostitution  business  or  enter-
     5  prise,  located  within  one  thousand feet of school grounds, involving
     6  prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes, or  a  business,  that
     7  sells  travel-related services knowing that such services include or are
     8  intended to facilitate travel for the purpose of patronizing  a  prosti-
     9  tute  within one thousand feet of school grounds, including to a foreign
    10  jurisdiction and regardless of the  legality  of  prostitution  in  said
    11  foreign  jurisdiction; or (b) advances or profits from prostitution of a
    12  person less than nineteen years old within one thousand feet  of  school
    13  grounds, is guilty of a class C felony.
    14    3.  Any  person  who  knowingly  (a) advances prostitution, within one
    15  thousand feet of school grounds, by compelling  a  person  by  force  or
    16  intimidation  to  engage  in  prostitution,  within one thousand feet of
    17  school grounds, or profits from such coercive conduct by another  within
    18  one  thousand  feet  of  school grounds; or (b) advances or profits from
    19  prostitution, occurring within one thousand feet or school grounds, of a
    20  person less than sixteen years old, is guilty of a class B felony.
    21    4. Any person who knowingly advances  or  profits  from  prostitution,
    22  occurring  within  one thousand feet of school grounds, of a person less
    23  than eleven years old is guilty of a class A felony.
    24    5. For purposes of this section, "school grounds" shall have the  same
    25  meaning as in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter.
    26    § 3. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 230.33-a to read
    27  as follows:
    28  §  230.33-a  Compelling  prostitution within one thousand feet of school
    29               grounds.
    30    1. A person is guilty of compelling prostitution within  one  thousand
    31  feet  of  school grounds, when such person is twenty-one years of age or
    32  older, and he or she knowingly advances prostitution within one thousand
    33  feet of school grounds by compelling a person less  than  sixteen  years
    34  old,  by  force  or  intimidation,  to engage in prostitution within one
    35  thousand feet of school grounds.
    36    2. For purposes of this section, "school grounds" shall have the  same
    37  meaning as in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter.
    38    Compelling  prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds is
    39  a class A felony.
    40    § 4. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 230.41  to  read
    41  as follows:
    42  §  230.41  Permitting  prostitution  within  one thousand feet of school
    43               grounds.
    44    1. A person is guilty of permitting prostitution within  one  thousand
    45  feet  of  school  grounds, when having possession or control of premises
    46  located within one thousand feet of school grounds which  he  knows  are
    47  being  used for prostitution purposes, he or she fails to make a reason-
    48  able effort to halt or abate such use.
    49    2. For purposes of this section, "school grounds" shall have the  same
    50  meaning as in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter.
    51    Permitting  prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds is
    52  a class A misdemeanor.
    53    § 5. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
    54  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

SPONSORS MEMO:

NEW YORK STATE SENATE
INTRODUCER'S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1

 
BILL NUMBER: S1313
 
SPONSOR: DIAZ                
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the offenses of patronizing a prostitute within one thousand feet of school grounds, promoting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds, compelling prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds and permitting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds.   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Enhances criminal sanctions for prostitution crimes committed within 1,000 feet of school grounds. Criminal sanction impact.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Amends the Penal Law, by adding a new section 230.06-a. Creates the crime of patronizing a prostitute within one thousand feet of school grounds. Defines school grounds as having the same meaning as in subdivision 14, Section 220.00 of this chapter. Section 2. Amends the Penal Law by adding a new section 230.32-a. Creates the crime of promoting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds. Defines school grounds as having the same meaning as in subdivision 14, Section 220.00 of this chapter. Section 3. Amends the Penal Law by adding a new section 230.33-a. Creates the crime of compelling prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds. Defines school grounds as having the same meaning as in subdivision 14, Section 220.00 of this chapter. Section 4. Amends the penal law by adding a new section 230.41. Creates the crime of permitting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds. Defines school grounds as having the same meaning as in subdi- vision 14, Section 220.00 of this chapter. Section 5. Effective Date   EXISTING LAW: Penal Law; Title M; Offenses Against Public Health and Morals; Article 230; Prostitution Offenses.   JUSTIFICATION: While there are enhanced criminal penalties for certain crimes committed near schools, prostitution is not one of them. State statute must reflect the current reality that prostitution can and does take place in any environment, even in areas that are visible to the public. The New York Times published a shocking article on January 2,2011 enti- tled "A Bronx Elementary School, Surrounded by Prostitutes (Yardena Schwartz)." Ms. Schwartz, in her expose, reported in great detail how students who attend the West Farms Elementary School located in the Bronx, NY, are subjected to this illicit sexual activity. "At all hours of the day, prostitutes roam the streets around the school, waiting for cars entering and leaving the Cross Bronx Expressway. They bend over car windows and climb inside, in plain view of students walking to and from the school. " The activity is so brazen that according to the article, 'The prosti- tutes also have sex inside a tent on top of a boulder directly below the school's playground. Students, from prekindergartners to fifth graders, can see mattresses, cushions and sheets strewn about the rock. Custo- dians often have to sweep condoms and hypodermic needles from the school grounds before students arrive in the morning." We must do more to protect our children and to ensure that they are not subjected to crimes of this nature. They should be safe at all times, but especially when they are going to and from school. Likewise, local enforcement, from the police to the district attorney, must be given the appropriate tools to fight these crimes. This legislation creates the following new crimes: patronizing a prosti- tute within one thousand feet of school grounds; promoting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds; compelling prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds; and permitting prostitution within one thousand feet of school grounds and provides for enhanced criminal sanctions. Furthermore, the definition of "school grounds" is consistent with that of the current definition in the Penal Law.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: The first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.