Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that his bill (S.5917A) to require convicted sex offenders to register their Internet related information has passed the Senate.
"Children are trusting and they have no idea their Internet "friend" could be a pedophile trolling the Internet looking for his next victim," said Senator Saland. "Now that almost every home has a computer with Internet access, sex offenders have found an easier way to find their prey. It is imperative that we keep track of their Internet related information as well as their address on the Sex Offender Registry," Saland continued.
The bill would require convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail address, instant message ID, screen name, etc. with the Division of Criminal Justice Services which would make the information available to social networking websites. The bill would also make it a class D felony to misrepresent one’s age in connection with disseminating indecent material to minors.
"In a recent case of a teacher accused of sexually abusing his students, the teacher maintained a profile on the social networking site MySpace.com and falsified his age in order to gain the trust of young people. This bill will help deter pedophiles from misrepresenting themselves to minors while providing for a lengthy sentence for those who choose to ignore it," Saland concluded.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.