Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) stood today with Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference in calling for extension of a soon-to-expire Megan’s Law provision that would result in information about thousands of convicted sexual predators being dropped from the state Sex Offender Registry.
“If we don’t act now, 168 Level 1 and 2 sex offenders are going to be removed from the registry on January 21st, the first day the 10 year registration expires. These offenders would then fall from the radar of police and watchful parents,” said Oaks. “That’s why I’m calling for a lifetime enrollment of these offenders on the Sex Offender Registry.”
The registry, part of Megan’s Law that was created in 1996, keeps all sexual offenders on a central list available to police officers by requiring the criminals to register with authorities. It also allows for posting important data about Level 3 offenders, classified by state officials as the most dangerous of predators, on the Internet for the public and authorities to review.
“Even worse, if we don’t renew registration now, by the time school begins again next September, over 3,100 offenders will have come off the list,” said Oaks. “Not only do we need to push for all sex offenders to remain on this list to provide peace of mind for parents and community leaders, but we are presented with an opportunity to come to resolution on the registry rules and reach an agreement on civil confinement legislation protecting the weak and innocent, as well.
“If we don’t act, every day that passes in 2006, more dangerous convicted sex offenders will be released from prisons and taken off the registry rolls. The Assembly and Senate need to convene a conference committee immediately to negotiate any difference between the houses and assure we will have a sex offender registry that contains the necessary information to keep our citizens safe,” concluded Oaks.