Bonacic: Assembly's 2006 Priority Should Be To Protect Our Children

John J. Bonacic

December 29, 2005

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) while citing startling statistics, is urging the Assembly to take the appropriate action to protect our children and families. The Senate's visionary plan, already passed, provides a solution that will result in stronger protection tools for New Yorkers.

"At the end of January, 168 convicted, high level sex offenders will no longer be on the sex offender registry," stated Senator Bonacic. "168 people who can prey on our children and who have done so in the past, will be able to live in our communities without anyone's knowledge. Furthermore, during the next five years, 5,365 level two and 46 level three sex offenders are scheduled to leave the Sex Offender registry. This is appalling and it is simply because the Assembly refused to act on legislation to ensure that we know where convicted sex offenders reside."

"As parents and caregivers, we have the right to know if a dangerous sex offender is living in our neighborhood. Knowledge is an important tool for parents to protect their children. Without it, danger is lurking around the corner and we are left powerless to prevent a horrific tragedy," stated Senator Bonacic.

Senator Bonacic said that absent a new law, most level one and two sex offenders are automatically removed from the Sex Offender Registry upon expiration of their 10-year term. While level three sex offenders are not automatically released from the registry, those who registered before March 11, 2002 and are not designated as a heightened risk under federal law, may petition the sentencing court for removal from the registry after 13 years.

"As lawmakers, we need to provide New Yorkers with the tools to prevent tragedy and keep our children and families safe. The Assembly needs to take responsibility for their inaction and promptly pass legislation that has already gained overwhelming bipartisan approval by the Senate," Senator Bonacic continued. Those proposals include: lifetime registration of all sex offenders, GPS monitoring of high level sex offenders released from prison and who reside in our communities, and increased penalties with more jail time for first time and repeat offenders.

Senator Bonacic concluded, "The first order of legislative business taken up by the Assembly when it reconvenes in January should be to vote to protect New Yorkers and to hold sexual predators accountable for their actions."

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