Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), the former Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Aging and sponsor of New York’s “Granny’s Law”, has issued the following statement in response to the State Supreme Court decision finding Jack Rhodes guilty of robbery, burglary and assault of three senior citizens in 2007:
“Justice has been served in the name of New York’s senior citizens. The guilty verdict sends a clear message to those who think they can prey on the elderly or deem them easy targets. The message is simply that New York will not stand for such behavior and we will not allow it on our streets. Our seniors deserve to feel just as safe as anyone else here in New York.
It was the gutless acts of Jack Rhodes that sparked a Statewide revolt to bring an end to attacks on the elderly. I led the passage of “Granny’s Law” here in New York because it was my belief that if criminals were targeting senior citizens, then our laws must target them right back.
A person capable of attacking the elderly is not simply a mugger. They are a dangerous menace to society who should be kept behind bars for as long as possible. I would encourage the future such cowards to think again before causing harm to, or mugging, a senior citizen."
Senator Marty Golden sponsored Senate Bill 6979 which was signed into law by Governor David Paterson on May 2, 2008. Under the new law, not under which Jack Rhodes was prosecuted, if an assailant is 10 years younger than a victim, the penalty for assaulting a person 65 years or older will be increased to a class D violent felony that is punishable by up to seven years in prison.