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Sex Offender Legislation Makes Progress In Senate

State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) announced the passage of seven bills aimed at keeping communities safe from sexual predators.
State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) announced the passage of seven bills aimed at keeping communities safe from sexual predators. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown), long known for his work in local government on Child Safety Zone initiatives, announced Senate passage of legislation he says will keep communities safer from sexual predators.

"I have said many times we must take all measures to improve the future of our kids here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley and today we have achieved that," Murphy said. "We need to make our communities more affordable but we also need to make them safer. It's a quality of life issue. I intend to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put the necessary measures in place that protect our children from deviant sexual predators."

The package of bills includes Senate bill S851, which prohibits Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from being placed in temporary and emergency housing or homeless shelters where children are present; Senate bill S869, which makes it illegal for anyone to knowingly harbor, house, or employ a sex offender who has failed to register or verify residence or employment and fails to contact their local law enforcement agency; Senate bill S2084, which prohibits a sexually violent or Level 3 sex offender who committed a crime against a child from being granted custody and unsupervised visitation with a child; and Senate bill S1608, which requires reporting of multiple residences when a sex offender is living somewhere part-time.

Under current law, offenders only are required to register their primary residence. Senate bill S396 requires the commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to contact local officials and school superintendents when a sex offender is transferred to a community program or residence within their municipality. Senate bill S833 would prohibit Level 3 sex offenders from living in student housing on college campuses and make it a class A misdemeanor upon conviction of a first offense, and a class D felony upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense. Senate bill S845 would establish a sex offender public awareness outreach program. This program would provide educational outreach to schools, community groups, and clergy on issues related to sex offenders.

Now the bills go to the state Assembly for consideration.

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