Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R,I,WF-Sag Harbor) stood with his Assembly minority colleagues at a press conference in Albany today to demand action on legislation addressing an extension to a soon-to-expire Megan’s Law provision.
The 10-year registration mandate for certain Level 1 and 2 sex offenders on the state Sex Offender Registry ends January 21, and the identities and locations of 168 of the convicted predators will drop from the registry during the first 24 hours. By year’s end, information about more than 3,500 sex offenders would disappear from the registry if the provision is not amended or extended.
“I have supported legislative proposals that would protect children, women and communities from sexual predators since becoming an Assembly member,” noted Thiele. “We have been supported in our attempts to pass this legislation by the law enforcement community, local elected officials, victims’ rights groups and, most importantly, you, the concerned New Yorker, and the time for action is now.”
Legislative proposals have been continually advanced that would establish a lifetime registration on the state Sex Offender Registry for all sex offenders, regardless of classification; expand the information available on the Internet to include all registered sex offenders; strengthen the community notification process to ensure the public receives necessary information from law enforcement about all sex offenders living in their communities; and improve offender address verification by eliminating the loophole which currently hampers the sex offender address verification process.
In addition to Megan’s Law, the Assembly minority conference has advanced legislative proposals calling for civil confinement of the most dangerous sexual predators; creating longer prison sentences for perpetrators of sexually violent crimes; strengthening Megan’s Law; ending the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assaults; and requiring all criminals to submit DNA samples.
Civil Confinement of Sexually Violent Predators
Civil confinement would allow the courts to order the most dangerous convicted sex offenders – classified as Level 3 predators – held in secure mental-health facilities beyond their prison release dates if, upon extensive evaluation and unanimous jury verdicts, it is determined they could strike again. Under current law, sexually violent predators are released into communities once their sentences are finished despite the strong possibility they will offend again.
Longer Sentences for Perpetrators of Sexually Violent Crimes
Increasing prison sentences for crimes that involve the abuse, molestation or rape of children, or violent or repeated sexual assaults, would ensure that dangerous sexual predators who prey on New York’s children and families would remain confined.
Requiring All Criminals to Give DNA Samples
Expansion of the state DNA databank would help state law enforcement personnel solve many of the more than 16,000 unsolved crimes for which forensic crime scene evidence has been entered into the databank.
End the Statute of Limitations on Rape, Sexual Assaults and Related Crimes
Advance legislation that, in prosecutions of suspects for specified sex crimes such as rape, criminal sexual acts, aggravated sexual abuse and sexual crimes against a child, the five-year statute of limitations period would not start until available DNA evidence directly connects defendants to the commission of those crimes, provided the victims reported the crimes within five years of their occurrence.