Fahy, McDonald Aim on Protecting Youth

“The deplorable acts that individuals like Jayshawn Owens commit in our neighborhoods is nothing short of despicable. As a mother with a 14-year-old daughter, these repeated incidents of indecent exposure, particularly this last time that involved exposing himself to and then pursuing two middle school children, resonate deeply with me. By elevating repeat instances of indecent exposure to a minor to a Class A misdemeanor, the hope is that this will deter the re-occurrence of the depravity of these incidents," said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany).

Studies show that there is a high rate of recidivism amongst Public Lewdness offenders with one study showing that 24% re-offend. There is data, too, that indicates that over 10% of offenders progress to more serious sexual offenses. The current statute does not address the increased dangers that public lewdness can and does present.

Public lewdness whose victims are children is of particular concern and should be treated with greater severity. This most recent incident in which Jayshawn Owens both exposed himself and then pursued the children down the street was immensely threatening and put them at great risk of injury. One has only to look at Owen’s long history of being arrested on public lewdness charges and escalating behavior on low level misdemeanor charges with no legal ramifications to know that the law must be changed to better protect the public and children, in particular.