Governor David Paterson today signed legislation that would significantly increase and strengthen criminal penalties for attacks and assaults on senior citizens. Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) served as a lead co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
Senator Padavan joined with Governor Paterson and his legislative colleagues for a bill signing ceremony to mark the enactment of the new law was held at St. Margaret’s House in Lower Manhattan on Friday May 2.
“It is unconscionable that anyone would assault a senior citizen, but we continue to witness these disturbing acts of violence,” said Governor Paterson. “I am pleased that my colleagues in the Legislature worked together to pass this legislation, and that this bill provides a measure of safety for our elderly.”
The legislation was introduced last year and passed the Senate following the attacks within the same day on Queens residents 101-year-old Rose Morat and 85-year-old Solange Elizee. The legislation passed the Assembly and Senate with bipartisan support earlier this legislative session.
“Last year the brutal muggings of my constituents Rose Morat and Solange Elizee sparked outrage across the entire country and illustrated the need for stronger state laws to combat crimes against elderly,” Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) said. “Now with the enactment of Granny’s Law today, New York will have the criminal penalties needed to put any cowardly delinquent who attacks a senior citizen behind bars.”
Before the enactment of “Granny’s Law” it was a Class A misdemeanor to cause physical harm to another person. Now, under this new law, the assault of person 65 years or older when the perpetrator is more than ten years younger than the victim would be increased to assault in the second degree, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.