Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) today announced the Senate passed two pieces of legislation he sponsored that would restrict where a sex offender can live upon release and create a penalty for sex offenders who provide law enforcement with false information. The Senator has carried these bills since 2003.
"This year we saw great success when civil confinement of the worst sexual predators was signed into law," said Senator Alesi. "Unfortunately, there are still some loopholes in Megan’s Law that allow for sex offenders to maintain close contact with minors and to falsely report their name or address to law enforcement. The legislation which I introduced seeks to address these concerns, so residents can feel safe in their community. When passed into law, these bills will allow law enforcement to know exactly where these sex offenders reside, ensuring that they are not close to schools where children learn and play, or day care facilities."
The first bill (S.266) would restrict a convicted Level 3 sex offender from living within one quarter mile of a school building or day care facility. Recidivism rates for Level 3 sex offenders are high and allowing them to live in close proximity to places where large numbers of children congregate only entices them to offend again.
The second bill (S.274) adds a penalty for those sex offenders who knowingly give false information to a law enforcement officer when registering or verifying such information. Providing a false address or name will result in a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
"We cannot allow convicted sex offenders to live undetected in our communities, where law enforcement has no knowledge of their identity or place of residence," said Senator Alesi. "This legislation will correct the loophole, giving law enforcement the necessary tool to punish a sex offender who knowingly violates the registration and verification process by providing false information. The best tool we have against sex offenders is knowledge. This bill will give law enforcement and the public the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their families."