State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R – Schenectady) reported the New York State Senate recently passed legislation that makes it a crime for any school employee or volunteer to have sexual contact with a student, even if that student is at the age of consent. The bill (S.1358) is intended to further protect full-time students from employees who engage in inappropriate relationships.
New York State’s legal age of consent is 17. By taking a child’s school status into consideration, this bill removes an elementary or secondary school student’s ability to consent and bans sexual conduct between a school employee and a student. Violations would be a class E felony and carry a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
The legislation also addresses any adult that is in a position of trust in a school by defining school employees as anyone receiving compensation from a school district where services performed involved district student contact. It would also include any person, other than an employee, who provides services to a school or school district which involve direct student contact.
The bill will be sent to the Assembly.