Viagra for sex offenders? Penile implants for Level 3 sexual predators?
"It’s like giving a murderer a loaded gun," exclaimed Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga). "Where does the madness end?"
"For any parent, a sexual assault on a child is one of the worst things that can be imagined," said state Sen. Michael Balboni (R-East Williston). "That’s why it’s beyond imagination that our worst sexual predators could receive medical treatment to enable them to continue their assaults."
Balboni and Tedisco today announced they are drafting legislation to address the issue of convicted sex offenders being allowed to enhance their ability to recommit their heinous and sexually violent crimes by receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction or enhancement.
According to the legislators, sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate for recommitting sexually violent crimes. They said many high-risk sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated and are extremely likely to strike again – even after their prison sentences are served.
"Pedophilia is a severe mental disorder," said Tedisco, a long-time and outspoken advocate for strengthening sentences of sex offenders. "We shouldn’t allow people with a mental illness to have surgery or take a pill that gives them the enhanced ability to harm our families."
"We’re drafting legislation that would prohibit Level 3 sex offenders from purchasing any prescription drug or receiving any surgery to treat erectile dysfunction or provide sexual enhancement, unless medically necessary for life-threatening reasons, regardless of who pays the bill," said Balboni. "Statistics show that this is a crime of repetition."
The proposal mandates New York hospitals to check the state Sex Offender Registry, which lists Level 3 sex offenders in the state, before performing any penile implant surgery, unless the surgery is required for life-threatening medical reasons. If the patient’s name is on the registry, hospitals would not be allowed to perform the implant and must report the violator to authorities.
The legislation also prohibits sex offenders from purchasing prescription drugs to enhance sexual performance. It recently came to light that Viagra, a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, is being prescribed to sex offenders and paid for by taxpayers. Balboni and Tedisco believe, regardless of whether the prescription drug is paid for by Medicaid, sex offenders should not be allowed to purchase it, even if it is with their own money. Breach of the new law would also constitute a violation of probation.
"The courts have already upheld mandated registration for sex offenders under Megan’s Law," Balboni said. "This legislation is a logical addition."
"If these treatments are used only to enhance the sexual ability of a man, sex offenders should not be allowed to take part. Sexually violent predators certainly do not need to be enticed any more than they already are," concluded Tedisco.