Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) today joined the New York State Senate in approving legislation that would make it a felony to endanger the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. The legislation (S.3894), sponsored by Senator Tom Morahan (R-C, New City), is related to Jonathan’s Law which was enacted last year.
"This bill recognizes that those who are unable to care for themselves because of physical disability or mental disease or defect are especially vulnerable. Those individuals who endanger the welfare of such people should be charged with a felony," said Senator Marty Golden. "This legislation increases the punishment for those who act in disregard to the welfare of members of the community who deserve special protection."
"This important legislation fills in the gaps left by Jonathan’s Law by ensuring that New York State is protecting our citizens who are unable to protect themselves," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. "Criminals who choose to prey on innocent victims must know they will be punished to the full extent of the law."
Under current law, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person is a class A misdemeanor. This bill would elevate the offense to a class E felony, which carries a penalty of up to 4 years in prison. The bill was sent to the Assembly.
Jonathan’s law ensures that parents and guardians have access to records pertaining to allegations and investigations of mistreatment of children in residential care facilities.