ALBANY, N.Y.— Legislation sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that will create stricter punishments for sex offenders passed the New York State Senate.
The new legislation will create the category of criminal trespass by a level two or level three sex offender if he or she knowingly enters a school where the victim of their offense attends or formally attends.
“We have a responsibility to protect victims who have been harmed by sex offenders. Children, teens, and young adults should be able to go to their schools and feel protected, and this provides that protection,” said Senator Valesky.
In 2007 a registered sex offender entered Tully Central School District demanding to see school records and documentation pertaining to his victim while in attendance in the district.
Senator Valesky’s legislation specifically stipulates level 2 and level 3 offenders will be charged with criminal trespass should they enter a school building where their victim attends or used to attend. Criminal trespass is a class A misdemeanor in the second degree.
While orders of protection are often available to victims through petition, this legislation offers additional, long term, protection for victims from exposure to further harms.
“This legislation provides school administrators with a tool to assist us in making schools in New York State a safe and comfortable learning environment for our children,” said Kraig Pritts, Superintendent of Tully Central School. “The support of our legislators in introducing this bill in both houses demonstrates their concern for the children of this state. The efforts are appreciated by every educator and parent.”