Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today announced his support for a 5-point plan to combat sexual predators offered by Governor George E. Pataki. The plan, which offers many of the same points that have overwhelmingly passed in the New York State Senate in years past, is aimed at controlling those who prey on women and children.
"Sexual predators must be dealt with and must not be allowed to walk our streets if they are a danger to the community. These are crimes that have very clear victims who suffer very real consequences for the rest of their lives," said Senator Fuschillo. "Now is the time to deal with sexual predators and end this senseless cycle."
The package includes:
Megan’s Law Enhancements - On January 21 of this year, sexual offenders who have been designated as level 1 or level 2 will be purged from the New York State Sex Offender Registry. The package would block that purging and strengthen the registry by:
-requiring lifetime registration for all sexual violent offenders, regardless of level;
-permitting parents to view all registered sexually violent offenders on the Internet by requiring all in the New York State system to be listed regardless of level. The information available would vary depending on level but this would enhance public access;
-increasing public awareness of sex offenders by expanding the community notification required under Megan’s Law;
- and mandating that all sex offenders registered with New York State verify their address annually regardless of address change or level;
Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators - The Governor has proposed reintroducing this protection which has passed in the New York State Senate six times, including last year, but has never been voted on in the Assembly. The legislation would require that sexually violent predators be committed to a secure mental health facility if they are assessed to pose a continued danger after their prison term has expired.
This legislation is designed to stop sexual offenders from reentering the community until they are fully rehabilitated and to make certain that they receive any treatment needed to ensure that they no longer pose a threat to society. This legislation assumes a relationship between mental disorder, risk and sexual violence. The Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement writes that several states have passed legislation to establish civil commitment and its usage has been found constitutional by the United States Supreme Court;
Longer Sentences for Those Who Commit Sexually Violent Crimes - Sentences that involve the abuse, molestation or rape of children, or violent or repeated sexual assaults will be greatly increased. This proposal, which will be fully released in the coming weeks, would keep sexually violent predators out of communities;
DNA Sample from All Convicted Criminals - With less than one-third of all criminal offenses designated for the mandatory collection of DNA, the Governor has again proposed expanding the New York State DNA Databank to include DNA profiles of all convicted criminals to assist in arresting and convicting those who commit sexual crimes.
Current law does not require DNA samples from felons convicted of serious drug crimes, purveyors of voyeuristic videos, criminal pornographers, identity thieves, forgers and a host of other serious crimes. Expansion of the DNA Databank could help solve many of the more than 16,000 unsolved crimes for which forensic crime scene evidence has been collected.
This legislation passed the Senate by an overwhelming 54 votes in 2005, but has yet to be introduced by the Assembly Leadership;
Ending the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Offenses - In cases where the identity of the defendant has been established by utilizing DNA, there would no longer be a limit on the period of time law enforcement has to arrest, try and convict such a criminal.
For more than a decade, New York State has experienced an unprecedented reduction in crime through passing more than 100 laws that toughened penalties or closed criminal-friendly loopholes. Over the past ten years, violent crime in New York State has been cut in half and crime is at its lowest levels since statewide crime reporting began nearly 40 years ago.
"Governor Pataki has joined with the Senate in years past to protect New York residents and now is the time for the Assembly to join in this effort. We need to increase penalties, expand rehabilitation avenues and deny access to our communities to those who prey on children and sexually abuse women. This is a crime that must be dealt with in the strongest and most effective terms and nothing should stand in the way of attaining that goal. I join the Governor in calling on the Assembly to vote on these bills and protect our children," stated Senator Fuschillo.
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