Senate Unanimously Passes Robach Bill Ensuring That Sex Offenders Serve The Time They Deserve

Joseph E. Robach

January 24, 2006

Senator Joseph Robach announced today the unanimous passage of a bill he sponsored, S1619, that will strengthen the state penal law regarding sex offenders who are found guilty of another offense during their probation time. With this change in the law, these offenders would now have to serve consecutive sentences rather than concurrent sentences.

"Sexual crimes against children are amongst the worst crimes committed in our community", said Senator Robach. "We must ensure that sex offenders are put behind bars for the entire time they deserve. This legislation will reduce the high rates of recidivism as well as protect the safety and well-being of our residents."

Sexual offenders will and do re-offend, often during their probation period. Currently, the law allows any additional sentencing for new offenses occurring during a probationary period to be served concurrently with the original terms of the offender's sentence. Thus, a violation of that probationary period would effectively go unpunished, saving this offender from the maximum allowable penalty. This legislation would change the penal law to provide only consecutive sentencing for convicted sex offenders who re-violate while on probation.

This legislation was prompted by an incident in the Rochester area. In a local neighborhood, a convicted level 3 sex offender was released from jail to live under house arrest with his parents. Within a year, this individual was arrested and plead guilty to sodomizing two youths. He served no additional jail time.

"I am happy that the Senate recognizes the significance of this legislation which is critically important to the safety of our children" Senator Robach continued. "I urge the Assembly to act swiftly to close this unfortunate loophole in New York’s penal law."

The legislation was one of more than 20 bills the Senate passed today, all cosponsored by Senator Robach, that toughen penalties on sex offenders. This bill, along with the others, now await action by the Assembly.