(Albany NY) – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), is fighting to protect the most vulnerable members of our society from sex offenders. Ortiz has introduced legislation which would require that all hospitals, nursing homes, or any type of managed-care facility notify both the residents and families of residents when there is a sexual offender of any level living there, and require that the facility provide a written explanation of the security measures being put in place to protect the residents.
Last week in upstate New York, an 84-year-old woman was the victim of a sexual predator who had recently been paroled and was living in the same nursing home. The woman was unaware that a sex offender was living in her facility and was unable to take the necessary precautions. This incident demonstrated to Ortiz that the laws are not working to protect the most defenseless members of society who are hospitalized and the seniors that are no longer able to care for themselves.
“It is hard to imagine sexual predators going after our elderly and hospitalized citizens, but in light of the situation which occurred this past week, it is clear that it is a problem; and that we as legislators need to modify our current sex offender laws to solve it”, stated Ortiz. “This legislation will permit individuals and their families to be knowledgeable about the situation and the security measures being taken. If they are unsatisfied with the security plan, this will allow residents and their families to make a decision about whether they would like to stay in the facility, or work together with the administration to develop security measures that are more satisfactory”.
Ortiz has already received the support of some of his Majority colleagues for this bill and hopes that elected officials across the board will pledge their support. “We need to come together to protect our citizens from sex offenders. This is not a partisan issue, and it should not be viewed as such. This is an issue of helping our people and doing the right thing.”