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Senate Passes Legislation Protecting New York's Children

 

New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) announced today that the state Senate has passed the omnibus “Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Act of 2008.” The comprehensive measure seeks to protect children from the dangers posed by Internet predators, child sex abuse and child pornography.
 
 “While the Internet has become a great tool in advancing modern society, it has also become a place where the most dangerous and twisted sex offenders lurk,” Padavan said. “This legislation is vital in our fight to crackdown on sex predators. It protects the most vulnerable, our children, from sex offenders who use the Internet and other forms of modern technology as a means to commit their crimes. This legislation provides the necessary criminal penalties for any criminal who sexually abuses or exploits a child and provides services and safeguards for children who are victims of these heinous crimes.”

 The legislation toughens and increases criminal penalties for promoting child prostitution and producing child pornography. Additionally, the legislation will:

• Enhance criminal penalties when a sex crime against a child has been committed using a computer or computer service;
• Increase criminal penalties for an individual who permits their premise to be used for child prostitution; and
• Allow business records to be entered into evidence via affidavit in child pornography grand jury proceedings.

The legislation also provides that when possible, local social service districts establish safe houses for
sexually abused children. 

 Passage of this legislation comes following the issuance of a report last year by the New York State Senate Majority entitled “Protecting Children in the Internet Age.” This report called for the enactment of a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed at keeping our children safe on the Internet and stronger laws to combat child sexual abuse.

 The legislation also builds upon the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) which requires sex offenders to register their Internet account and identifiers with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and allows social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to ban sex offenders from using their site. e-STOP passed the Senate last month and awaits action in the State Assembly. 

 “With the passage of this legislation today and the passage of e-STOP last month, my Senate Majority colleagues and I are taking a pro-active and aggressive approach at combating child sexual abuse in New York State,” Padavan said. “These steps are critical to help ensure the safety and well being of our children in the future.”

 The legislation was sent to the Assembly