ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) announced the passage of legislation that aims to prevent sexual predators from gaining access to potential victims and to assist law enforcement in tracking the offenders’ locations.
“Today, the Senate passed eight bills that, among other initiatives, increase the amount of information collected and disseminated about sexual offenders, change the reporting requirements for the Sexual Offender Registration Act (SORA), and addresses the recidivism rates among sexual offenders. Predators are released into society on a daily basis, and every piece of legislation is critical in protecting our children and communities,” Senator Young said.
“Through Senate bill 356, anyone convicted of committing or attempting to commit sex offenses against children 10 years of age or less will be designated as a Level 3 offender. This change requires the inclusion of the predator’s information in the releasable information available on the state’s sex offender registry, thereby increasing the public’s awareness of their presence,” she said.
Another bill, Senate bill 487 changes a current law that allows sex offenders who break their probation by committing another sex offense to serve the sentence imposed for the violation concurrently.
“Under the new law, anyone who commits another sex offense during probation would face a consecutive sentence, which will ensure that repeat sex offenders receive the maximum amount of time in jail, away from our communities. This is reassuring news for our crime victims who have been advocating to see extended sentences for the individuals who prey on their loved ones,” Senator Young said.
The Senate also voted on legislation that extends a current law that prevents predators from gaining access to information that would assist in the commission of new crimes. Currently, sex offenders are not permitted to work as licensed real estate brokers or salespersons. The new bill now bans convicted offenders from obtaining licenses to become real estate appraisers.
“This bill prevents situations in which a predator would be in a position to be alone in an empty house or building with someone susceptible to attack. Sex offenders should not be permitted to enter a home where a family unknowingly grants access to every room in the home,” Senator Young said.
“In addition, it is also critical that violent felons and sex offenders be prevented from changing their names to hide their criminal past, and the Senate passed a bill that now requires criminals to disclose convictions for the purpose of a name change. This applies even after the end of incarceration, parole or probation,” she added.
“By enhancing awareness of an offender’s presence, we can prevent future sexual crimes, and provide increased protection of children, families and communities. Our children are our future, and these laws help guard and keep them safe from harm,” Senator Young added.
Other bills approved today dealt with additional restrictions and penalties for sex offenders who do not follow requirements for the Sex Offender Registry Act. They include:
- Bill S.1544 sponsored by Senator Skelos: makes it a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison, for sex offenders who fail to register according to SORA, or those who fail to follow the current prohibition against working on an ice cream truck.
- Bill S.1542 sponsored by Senator Skelos: makes it a felony for certain sex offenders who fail to register or report a change of address;
- Bill S.512A sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane): makes the same identifying information pertaining to Level 2 sex offenders that is available to the general public through the state’s sex offender registry website available to law enforcement for dissemination/community notification purposes; and
- Bill S.1522 sponsored by Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester): requires sex offenders to disclose when their residence is within a half mile of an elementary or secondary school.