Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) announced the Assembly passed legislation he supported that would toughen the state’s child sex abuse law to make it a class D felony offense when a child younger than 13 is subjected to sexual contact by a person who is 21 or older (A.1067-A).
The crime is a class D violent felony under current law only when the victim is under the age of 11. This bill increases the penalty for sexual abuse involving a child age 11 or 12, so that the touching of a sexual or intimate body part of a child – whether directly or over clothing – by a person age 21 or more will also be a class D violent felony.
“This law would ensure that a person who touches an 11 or 12 year old in a sexual way faces harsher penalties,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “Protecting child victims by strengthening the penal law against sex offenders will keep our communities safer.”
In New York State, a class A misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to one year of jail time. The tougher class D felony charge would carry a penalty of two to seven years.
“Eleven and 12 year olds are kids, and they need to be adequately protected from sexual predators,” Thiele concluded. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill and the governor to sign it into law so more children are kept safe and sexual predators face tougher penalties.”