(Albany, NY) - New York State Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD) has co-sponsored a bill that will make it a crime to knowingly harbor a sex offender who fails to register or verify with local law enforcement as required by state law. The bill, which was passed today, establishes an A misdemeanor for anyone who houses or employs the unregistered offender and fails to notify the proper authorities.
“Children and potential victims are placed in great danger by sex offenders who are at large in the community without the knowledge of law enforcement or the proper notification to the surrounding community,” said Senator Jacobs. “The bill passed today creates a legal obligation for anyone housing or employing an offender they know has not registered to report that situation to law enforcement so we can better safeguard our communities against these offenders with high rates of recidivism,” Jacobs added.
The impetus behind this legislation was a tragic case in Florida in 2005 that received national attention. In that case, police investigators believe that had family members divulged that a convicted sex offender was living with them, a nine year-old girl who had been kidnapped could have been rescued prior to her murder.