June 8, 2010

Assembly Passes Measure Protecting Child Victims And Strengthening Penal Law

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol today announced the passage of legislation making sexual abuse against eleven- and twelve-year old children by an individual 21 years of age or older a class D violent felony, carrying a sentence of imprisonment of up to seven years (A.1067-A/Destito).

"As a father and a grandfather, I have a very strong opinion on how pedophiles should be dealt with," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Protecting child victims by strengthening the penal law against sex offenders has always been a priority of the Assembly."

"It's critical that we continue enacting laws that will protect young New Yorkers," said Lentol (D-Brooklyn). "This legislation will ensure that individuals convicted of committing heinous crimes against children will get the punishment they deserve. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find more ways to strengthen the penal law with regard to sex offenses."

"The way the law is currently written, it would be possible for a pedophile committing sexual abuse against an eleven- or twelve-year old child to walk away without a felony conviction. This is horrific and unacceptable," said Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito (D-Rome). "Besides protecting these vulnerable victims, this legislation would bring the sexual abuse statute in line with rape and criminal sexual acts in the first degree providing that similar sexual contact with an individual who is eleven or twelve years old is now a felony in our state."