Albany, NY - A new horror story involving a sex offender surfaces virtually every day. Most recently, a Bedford Central School bus driver was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl and sending her explicit text messages. In a heavily publicized case, a level 3 offender, whose victims were eight and nine-years-old at the time of his offense, was allowed to live next door to one of his victims. Too many sex predators have open access to their victims, and some have flagrantly extended their perverse acts to include stalking and assaulting their victims near the sanctity of their homes.
To reduce potentially tragic encounters and recidivism, Senator Murphy has introduced a trio of sex offender bills designed to reduce the dangers posed by sexual predators living and working in our community. One measure, S968, which would prohibit a level 2 or 3 sex offender from residing within 1,500 feet of their victim's home.
"If given the chance, most sex offenders will try to continue to intimidate and assault their victims," said Senator Murphy. "No one should feel like they cannot go home. We need tough legislation that makes life uncomfortable for the offenders, rather than the people they prey on. No victim should ever have to feel the cold touch of their abuser again."
Lewisboro Police Chief Charles Beckett stated, "This is common sense legislation and I am behind it 100%. It is extremely troubling that a sex offender can presently live or work near their victim in New York. Any deterrent that makes a sex offender think twice about making contact with their victim is a step in the right direction."
"One of our main objectives in law enforcement is to keep families, particularly children, safe," said Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Paul Oliva. "It is important to address the issue of how we can monitor the movement and actions of sex offenders. These measures close the loopholes that allow sex offenders to exploit children."
"Time and time again, we see recidivism behavior on the part of level 2 and level 3 sex offenders. The victim, the family of the victim, and those tasked with investigating sexual violence and or abuse, know that the true depravity of these crimes is life-altering," said Yorktown Police Chief Robert Noble. "In Yorktown, we ask our residents to 'help us, to help them,' and the measures sought by Senator Murphy will assist law enforcement to do just that. The level 2 and level 3 sex offender designations are well earned by the offenders who carry that designation, and should be shared with all law abiding citizens."
Level 3 sex offenders are the most dangerous of all sex offenders with a high risk of recidivism. Recently, there was a circumstance where a level 3 sex offender was working in a building only a parking lot away from an elementary school. A second bill sponsored by Senator Murphy, S5348, would restrict level three sex offenders from working within 500 feet of any school or daycare facility.
In 2017, as part of his ongoing mission to make the Hudson Valley a safer place to live, Senator Murphy hosted a roundtable discussion at Yorktown Town Hall with elected officials, advocacy groups, and law enforcement representatives to discuss updating Megan's Law and other legislation to protect children. One of the main concerns vocalized by the attendees was the possibility of a sex offender moving into a community for a substantial period while awaiting risk level designation. The result of this discussion and others resulted in Senator Murphy sponsoring S6548, which would allow the dissemination of information on sex offenders from another state who have not been assigned a risk level in New York State.
"We do not want New York State to be a sanctuary for unregistered sex offenders," said Senator Murphy. "New York is not a hunting ground. If you come to our state and you have a history of sexual abuse, then your community should have the right to know about your past."
The bill allows that information about a sex offender who has not been assigned a risk level in this state may be disclosed if the offender is a level 2 offender. After a sex offender is assigned a risk level, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction will carry out the dissemination of any relevant information.