Senator Morahan Supports Legislation To Combat Sex Crimes

Thomas P. Morahan

March 15, 2005

State Senator Tom Morahan(R-C) New City announced his support of a comprehensive package of legislation to combat child sex crimes, which today was passed by the New York State Senate. "This legislation would increase criminal penalties, increase the statute of limitations for the prosecution of a sex offense or incest, and prohibit sexual offenders places on conditional release or parole from entering school grounds or other facilities where children are cared for," said Senator Morahan.

The package of legislation passed today by the Senate would:would prohibit sexual offenders placed on conditional release or parole from entering school grounds or other facilities where children are cared for. Under current law, persons convicted of certain sexual offenses, where the victim was under the age of eighteen years old, are prohibited from knowingly entering school grounds.

The new legislation would prohibit all sexual offenders, regardless of the age of their victims, from entering school grounds. This bill would also provide that no registered sex offenders are allowed to live or enter within 1000 feet of any school grounds.would increase the criminal penalties for sexual offenses against a minor when those offenses are committed by a person in a position of trust, such as a teacher, day-care provider, or a coach.would extend the statute of limitations to prosecute sex crimes against children from five years to 15 years, after the victim has reached age 18; it would require sex offenders who are found guilty of another offense during their probation to serve consecutive sentences rather than concurrent sentences.
Presently there is a loophole in the law that 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. Therefore, a violation of that probationary period would go unpunished, saving the offender from the maximum allowable penalty. This legislation would change the penal code to provide only consecutive sentencing for convicted sex offenders who re-violate while on probation. It would increase the penalties for using a child in a sexual performance and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, and would also impose consecutive sentences on child pornographers.
It would create the crime of endangering the welfare of a child if a person commits a violent act in front of a child (S.1513); increase the penalties for any person who tries to lure or entice a child into a secluded area, currently a class A misdemeanor, to a class D felony (S.1517); and increase the severity of the punishment for assault in the third degree to a class D felony when the assault is committed in the presence of minor children, and when the defendant has previously been convicted of assaulting the same victim (S.1521). Finally, it would allow the admissibility of statements by police officers and business records into evidence in grand jury proceedings by way of a sworn affidavit, precluding the need for personal appearances.