Jay-j's Law Will Toughen Penalties for Child Abusers

Andrew J. Lanza

July 29, 2013

Senator Lanza today announced legislation enacting Jay-J’s Law, which allows for tougher penalties against offenders who have been convicted of repeatedly abusing a child.

The law increases the look-back period to elevate penalties for assault on a child younger than 11 years old from three years to 10 years. Intentionally causing physical injuries to a child under 11 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in a local jail. This charge could be elevated to an E felony of aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old, if the abuser had a prior conviction for the same crime. That charge carries a maximum four-year prison sentence.

Jay-J’s Law is named after Jay-J Bolvin, who was severely beaten by his father in 2011, leaving him with 11 fractured bones and epilepsy. Jay-J’s father had been convicted of third-degree assault in 2007 for beating another of his sons and breaking his arm. For the assault on Jay-J., his father was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault, because the prior conviction was not an enhancing factor because it occurred outside of the three year look-back period.

Senator Lanza said, “As the father of three children, I can't imagine how anyone could ever harm a child. We must do all we can to keep New York's kids safe, and this new law is a step in the right direction. Jay-J's Law will ensure repeat abusers who have a history of violence against children are charged with aggravated assault and kept behind bars for a long time. 

The bill takes effect immediately.