Making sure our community and children are safe has always been a priority of mine. We live in a time when our children, our most vulnerable community members, are exposed to more dangers than ever, which is why it is important that we continue the fight to protect them. That’s why I’m sponsoring of several pieces of legislation that help protect our children from predators and criminals – especially repeat offenders.
In 2007, a man was charged with a rather light sentence after it was discovered that he beat his son and broke his arm. Last year in North Tonowanda, the same man beat his infant son. His child was left with 11 fractured bones and epilepsy. The man was charged with third-degree assault and attempted second-degree assault, and received the maximum possible prison sentence of 1 and 1/3 years to 4 years in jail. This is another light sentence, given the crimes he committed and his previous record. In response to sentences like this, I’m sponsoring a bill to protect children from violent repeat offenders that would make the penalties for repeat offenders stricter - with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison - than they are for first-time offenders (A.9488).
Additionally, I introduced legislation that charges anyone who attempts to lure or entice a child in any fashion that could possibly result in kidnap, sexual abuse or injury to a child’s physical, mental or moral welfare, to be charged with a class B felony, punishable by serving a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. (A.9251). This will help law enforcement agencies convict these criminals and keep them in jail – and off the streets – for longer periods of time, protecting our children from predatory sex criminals.
And lastly, I am working to pass "Brittany’s Law" (A. 9019). This piece of legislation is named in honor of Brittany Passalacqua, a 12-year-old Geneva girl who was murdered in her home with her mother in November 2009. A recently paroled felon convicted of assaulting his infant daughter was their murderer. In light of this incident and others like it, this piece of legislation creates a violent offender registry in New York State, which would make certain information about these offenders available to the public. This proposal to create a violent offender registry would not only protect our families, but it would provide law enforcement agencies with a very valuable investigative tool when it comes to the fight against crime.
We live in scary times, but if we work together to protect our children and implement the right laws to keep criminals away from our kids, we can make our communities safer places to live.
As always, I encourage you to contact me if you would like more information about this or any other community issue by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling my office at 686-0080.