Senator Murphy: After 20 Years Time Is Now To Update Megan’s Law
KATONAH, NY – David Ohnmacht spent eight years in prison for sexually assaulting girls 14 and under, even being found guilty of first degree rape, attempted rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and processing pictures of a sexual performance by a child. Upon his release, Ohnmacht told CBS2’s Lou Young he wasn’t a threat. But last week, Ohnmacht was arrested again and is facing felony charges for allegedly coercing a 14 year old girl through social media to engage in sexually explicit activity.
In response, State Senator Terrence Murphy says its time for New York State to update Megan’s Law. In 1996, New York State created Megan’s Law, named after seven year-old Megan Kanka, that requires convicted sex offenders to register with New York State. Since its original passage, society has seen some major shifts including the explosion of social media.
Senator Murphy said, “Mr. Ohnmacht allegedly targeted his last victim through social media. Megan’s Law must be updated to prohibit the use of social media networks for Level 2 and 3 offenders as long as they are required to register with New York State. As a father of three kids, I will fight everyday to strengthen our laws to make sure we protect children from becoming victims of these reprehensible and disgusting acts.”
According to reports, Ohnmacht began communicating with his victim the same month that his five-year term of post-release supervision ended. FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney, Jr said, “Those alleged predators have more access in this digital age than they’ve ever had before, but as parents we have to be the first line of defense by talking with them and making sure they know the dangers that lurk online.
Since his days as a local town councilman in Yorktown, Senator Murphy has been an outspoken advocate for new laws such as child safety zones and victim safety zones. Child safety zone legislation, authored by Senator Funke and sponsored by Senator Murphy passed the Senate in 2015. Senator Murphy’s victim safety zones, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 1500 feet of their victim, also passed the Senate in 2015. However, neither bill has been brought to the floor in the Assembly.
Senator Murphy continued, “A lot has changed since Megan’s Law was first authored. I intend to hold several round tables with state and local law enforcement, social services and advocates to see what other provisions we need to expand on. No child should be victimized in any way. I would like to thank the law enforcement agencies responsible for bringing Mr. Ohnmacht to justice on behalf of his victim. I sincerely hope the court has no mercy, and if found guilty, gives him the maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.”