Legislation Sponsored To Protect Children From Internet Predators

Martin J. Golden

January 22, 2008

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), the Chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force on Critical Choices, is announcing that he has joined his colleagues in the State Senate in a statewide legislative effort to protect children in the internet age, and has sponsored omnibus legislation designed to enhance the safety of all of New York’s children, recommendations of the Senate Majority Task Force on Critical Choices 2007 Report entitled, "Protecting Children in the Internet Age".

The legislation will:

1) Make certain prostitution offenses involving children fingerprintable

2) Permits the introduction of business records, especially Internet Service Provider records, into evidence in grand jury proceedings by way of a sworn affidavit

3) Authorize the issuance of a non-judicial subpoena in cases involving offense against minors or where the life or safety of any person is in imminent danger

4) Provide additional wiretap authorization for certain child prostitution and child pornography offenses

5) Require registered sex offenders to provide verification of their Internet accounts and Internet screen names and permits the Department of Criminal Justice Services to provide this information to Internet service providers

6) Makes certain additional child prostitution and child pornography crimes violent felony offenses

7) Clarifies the crime of tampering with physical evidence and the responsibility of Internet service providers to retain physical evidence

8) Increases the penalties for patronizing children who are being prostituted and conforms the penalties and the age of the child being patronized to mirror the penalties for engaging in acts of statutory rape

9) Creates the crime of sexual exploitation of a child, involving the use of a child under the age of thirteen, in the crime of prostitution

10) Shifts the burden to the defendant who engaged in the sexual conduct with the underage child to show, by evidence, that the defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe the person was less than the age specified

Senator Marty Golden stated, "As the internet becomes more prevalent in our society, with patrons seeking to do harm, and as we unfortunately hear of more reports of child abuse, we must adjust our laws to insure that there are protections in place to protect our youth. We have heard of stories of internet chat, e-mails, and the solicitation of prostitution resulting in a horrific murder of a teenager or young adult. We have a responsibility to prevent these crimes."

Golden continued, "My colleagues and I have worked hard on developing a report entitled, Protecting Children in the Internet Age and we are now ready to make our recommendations a reality here in New York. In a very extensive and comprehensive manner, we will soon introduce a wide array of aggressive measures designed to protect children from the dangers posed by Internet predators, child pornography and child sexual abuse."

Senator Martin Golden is a member of the New York State Senate Codes Committee and the Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. Mr. Golden is a former New York City Police Officer.