Senate Passes Anti-Crime Package

Jack M. Martins

April 06, 2011

Bills Strengthen Penalties for Sex Offenders, Bank Robberies and Home Invasions

The New York State Senate passed several anti-crime bills to strengthen penalties and create new charges for offenses relating to sexual abuse, bank robberies, home invasions and driving irresponsibly. The measures will help deter criminals, hold violators accountable and create safer communities throughout the state.

“It is crucial that we regularly evaluate and enhance the laws that protect our public safety,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said. “These bills address important issues and concerns that affect our homes, businesses and families. I encourage the Assembly to act so that we can help make our communities safer.”

“It is our responsibility to protect our residents. These bills will help to strengthen the safety of our communities. I strongly support their passage. Our residents need to feel safe in their neighborhoods,” said Senator Martins.

Two bills sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C - Poughkeepsie) target sex offenders and protect communities by improving post-release monitoring and restrictions on future employment. Bill S.1416 establishes penalties for failing to provide a DNA sample and failure to register or verify as a sex offender, making such failure a Class E felony for a first offense, and a Class D felony upon subsequent offenses. Bill S.1418 prohibits registered sex offenders from obtaining employment which would include unsupervised access to residential living quarters. Types of employment would include residential building superintendent, manager, maintenance worker, home or assisted living facility health aide.

“Currently, there is no penalty provided, specifically, for failure or refusal to provide a DNA sample and many convicted offenders flout their obligation,” said Senator Saland. “Also, while current law provides comprehensive residential prohibitions, it lacks similar employment restrictions. The law goes to great lengths to restrict convicted sex offenders from living in our neighborhoods, yet allows convicted offenders to work in our homes without our knowledge or supervision.”

A bill (S.4194) sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome) deters potential thieves and provides an appropriate level of punishment for violators. It establishes a stronger penalty for robbery of property from a bank by making the crime a Class C felony.

Other bills acted upon today include:

· Bill S.3207 sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, Northport) expands the definitions of aggravated sexual abuse to include victims less than 13 years old when the defendant is 18 years old or more.

· Bill S.3325 sponsored by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) requires registered sex offenders to assert compliance with all residency and employment laws.

· Bill S.3205 sponsored by Senator Flanagan creates the crime of home invasion robbery in the first and second degree.

· Bill S.3225 sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) requires mandatory license suspensions for violations of certain restrictions by licensed drivers under the age of 18.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.