(ALBANY, N.Y.) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-C-I, Depew) today announced with members of the State Senate passage of several important criminal justice bills that will toughen our laws to protect innocent New Yorkers, punish criminals and make our communities more safe. The agreements will expand the state’s DNA databank, eliminate the statute of limitations for rape victims and increase penalties for drivers who flee police officers.
"This legislative session has been extremely successful on the criminal justice front," said Senator Dale M. Volker, Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee. "After several years of negotiations, the State Assembly has finally found the wherewithal to do the right thing and join the State Senate in addressing the issues of expanding our state's DNA database, lifting the statue of limitations on rape, and increasing the penalties for those who when using a vehicle hits, runs and hides when injuring law enforcement professionals. Enactment of these legislative proposals will complement ongoing criminal justice programs that have made New York State one of the safest states in the nation."
DNA DATABANK EXPANSION
The agreement on the DNA databank would triple the size of existing database by including DNA samples from criminals convicted of all felonies and 18 common misdemeanors including: (1)Menacing in the 2nd and 3rd degrees, (2) Reckless endangerment in the 2nd degree, (3) Pettit larceny, (4) Stalking in the 3rd and 4th degrees, (5) Unlawful imprisonment in the 2nd degree, (6) Criminal trespass in the 2nd degree, (7) Possession of burglars tools, (8) Sexual abuse in the 3rd degree, (9)Forceable touching, (10) Endangering the welfare of a child, (11) Endangering the welfare of a of an incompetent or physically disabled person.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR RAPE VICTIMS
The Legislature agreed to eliminate the statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of Class B felony sexual assault crimes including: first degree rape, first degree criminal sexual act (formerly called sodomy), first degree aggravated sexual abuse and first degree course of sexual conduct against a child.
In addition, the agreement will extend from one year to five years, the civil statute of limitations, giving rape victims a longer period of time to pursue legal recourse from their attackers.
CRAIG TODESCHINI UNLAWFUL FLEEING OF A POLICE OFFICER LAW
Several weeks ago the Senate held a news conference with the family of Craig Todeschini, a State trooper from Central New York who was killed in pursuit of a motorcycle driver who was fleeing him. The family has been fighting for the Senate’s bill to establish the Craig Todeschini Law to increase penalties on drivers who flee police officers. The agreement will create three new crimes ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony for person who unlawfully flee a police officer in a motor vehicle.