Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) has announced Senate passage of his bill, S.1087A, to enhance the prosecution of juvenile sex offenders.
Designated felony acts include crimes committed by thirteen, fourteen or fifteen year olds that are so egregious that the punishment for these crimes is stiffer. This bill adds the crimes of "aggravated sexual abuse" in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree and the crimes of "course of sexual conduct against a child" in the 1st and 2nd degree to the list of designated felony offenses, giving the family court much wider discretion in determining an appropriate placement as well as length of term.
"While we don’t like to think that young people could possibly commit these types of grievous acts, unfortunately it happens more frequently than many people would think. Prosecutors need laws that provide them with tools they need to protect the community from juvenile sex offenders and get them off the streets for a longer period of time," said Senator Saland. "It is just as important, however, that these young offenders have time to receive the treatment and rehabilitative services they so desperately need, so they will not repeat these abhorrent behaviors when they become adults -- this bill does both."
The bill was sent to the Assembly for consideration.