Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2008

Tedisco, Assembly Minority Seek To Protect Children From Sexual Predators

As part of their annual observance of "National Crime Victims Rights Week," Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and the Assembly Minority Conference today sought to amend legislation to create the crime of attempting to lure or entice a child by means of a computer communications system to help further safeguard children from sexual predators.

The measure, Assembly Bill A.6743 introduced by Assemblywoman Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava (R-Gouverneur), was offered as an amendment to Assembly Bill A.8488-A. The amendment would have established the crime of luring or enticing a minor by means of a computer communications system to solicit sexual contact with, or a sexual performance by, a person that an individual reasonably knows to be less than 17 years old.

"Every year, far too many of New York's children are victimized by sexual predators. We need to ensure that the scales of justice tilt decidedly in favor of children, not criminals, by creating a new law that addresses the nature through which sexual predators prey on children by luring them into a car, building or other such isolated and secluded area," Tedisco stated.

"It is amazing that in today's society our state still does not have a law that criminalizes luring or enticing a minor by use of a computer or other means," Scozzafava said. "First and foremost, as Legislators we must protect our children and that is why we need strong laws that are responsive to new crimes. We must be proactive, not reactive and we need to pass this legislation today."

Tedisco and the Assembly Minority members sought to amend a Majority bill with A.6743 during today's floor votes. The Chair ruled the amendment "germane," so the vote was on the merits of the amendment. The Assembly Minority measure ultimately failed by a vote of 59 to 80.

Assembly Majority members voting against the Assembly Minority initiative included Assemblymen Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess), David Koon (D-Perinton) and William Parment (D, North Harmony).

"Creating the crime of attempting to lure or entice a minor by means of a computer communications system would tell potential criminals in no uncertain terms that New York refuses to sit idly by while they continue preying on the most vulnerable in our society. We need to ensure sexual predators get the message that their behavior of targeting children will not be tolerated and they will face severe criminal penalties for doing so," Tedisco concluded.

New York State Assembly
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