Bill would stiffen sex offender penalties


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com |


Photo and video courtesy of NYPD

This suspect and a second man are wanted in a series of Queens street robberies.

In an effort to keep the public safe from sexual abuse, the New York State Senate has passed a bill increasing the penalty for repeat offenders.

The Senate has approved legislation introduced by Senator Michael Gianaris which excludes time spent in prison from the 10-year period during which the actions of a repeat sex offender are deemed “persistent sexual abuse.”

Under the current law, criminals who commit certain sex crimes on multiple occasions can count time they are incarcerated towards the decade-long period in which they are subject to harsher penalties.

“Repeat sex offenders must be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Gianaris said. “By specifically directing the exclusion of any time during which a person was incarcerated from the 10 year look back period, this bill would more effectively hold the offender accountable under the law.”

The legislation has yet to reach the Assembly floor for a vote, but if passed there, it will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing.

“This bill is intended to prevent sex offenders who repeatedly target women and children from finding leniency in legal loopholes,” said Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, who co-authored the bill. “The legislation’s passage in the Senate is an important first step towards ensuring that individuals who commit persistent sexual abuse face the full consequences of their crimes.”