Senate Okays Seward Bill On Sex Offenders’ Bail

James L. Seward

June 27, 2007

The New York State Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I/Milford) that would help courts track the movements of those arrested and charged with sex offenses.

Senate bill 4909 gives judges the authority to revoke the bail of anyone charged with a sex offense if the offender changes his address and fails to notify the court.

"This is a step forward in protecting the public from people who are likely to repeat their crimes," said Seward. "And it also means the courts will know where these people are."

In January of 2004, Patrick Cascanet was arrested in Schoharie County for molesting four boys in the Middleburgh area in 2001 and 2002. While free on bail, Cascanet moved to the Watertown area where he was repeatedly molested a seven year old boy and was subsequently charged with that crime.

"Defendants who are charged with sex crimes shouldn't have the chance to prey on more victims while out on bail by moving to an area where the authorities and the public are unfamiliar with the defendant and the crimes with which the defendant has been charged," Seward said.

The bill would require a defendant who has been charged with a sexually related crime and who is out on bail to inform the court if he changes his permanent residence.

The senate Republican majority has been in the forefront of innovative public safety legislation designed to protect children from sex offenders; establish harsh penalties for those convicted of sex crimes; and promote improved monitoring of sex offenders. The senate recently called for stepped up efforts by the state to track the approximately 1,000 sex offenders who had failed to register their whereabouts with the state.