The New York State Senate today passed a series of bills increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children.
The Senate passed legislation (S1541A), sponsored by Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos, that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents.
“When parents entrust their child’s care with another adult, they should have confidence that individual will not harm their child,” Senator Skelos said. “Under this bill, if a person in a position of trust, such as a day care center employee, teacher, or athletic coach, engages in sexual contact with a child, the perpetrator will face increased penalties.”
Currently, there are no additional penalties for sexual contact with a minor by persons in a position of trust.
The Senate also passed a bill (S.746B), sponsored by Senator Cathy Young (R-I-C, Olean) that creates a new crime of promoting and possessing a sex offense with a child. This bill cracks down on pedophiles who use the Internet to prey on children.
"The Internet is a dangerous place that allows child predators to interconnect and promote their criminal behavior like never before, with innocent children being the unfortunate victims,” said Senator Young. “The laws need to catch up with technology. In creating these new crimes, the legislation removes the cloak of security pedophiles have found on the Internet and makes our children safer and more secure."
There was a case recently in Jamestown where a 55 year old man performed sexual acts with a 9 year old female child and broadcast it live over the Internet. Viewers sent messages and offered suggestions of abuse. By creating these new crimes and directly addressing the participation in such acts by other Internet users – for example, in instant messages, e-mail, and blogs-- this bill accurately reflects the full scope of injury inflicted by these criminals.
A third bill (S.1991), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden, establishes the crime of promotion of child prostitution by a parent or guardian,
“In New York State, there have been several high profile cases where parents exploited their children,” said Senator Golden. “Violating the trust between parent and child is an inexcusable offense and those that do so need to be held accountable. This bill puts teeth into the paper tiger, ensuring those who exploit our children receive justice.”
Currently, there is no law that specifically addresses the prostitution of a child by a parent. This legislation adequately addresses this crime and ensures that parents convicted of such crimes are unable to have access to the children they exploited.
The bills have been sent to the Assembly.