Senate Passes Package of Sex Crimes Bills

Stephen M. Saland

March 05, 2012

Legislation would keep children safer, increase penalties for criminals

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) 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. 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) 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.  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) establishes the crime of promotion of child prostitution by a parent or guardian.  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.