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Astoria’s elected officials pass legislation targeting sex predators

Mike Gianaris, Richard A. Brown, Aravella Simotas

July 31, 2014 By Michael Florio

Astoria’s elected officials held a press conference Tuesday that announced the passage of new legislation that aims to get tough on sex offenders.

The bill, which has been passed by both the Assembly and State Senate, aims to close a loop hole on a law that targets repeat offenders who have been found guilty of committing three or more sex crimes over a 10-year period

The bill, which was sponsored by Aravella Simotas in the Assembly and Mike Gianaris in the State Senate, focuses on the definition of the 10-year period.

The law, at present, includes the time a sex offender is in prison—when, obviously, such crimes cannot be committed. The new bill would exclude the time an offender is incarcerated.

The new legislation—which aims to close the loophole– is now awaiting the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“The law must provide protection for the most vulnerable among us, not shield predators,” said Simotas, at a press conference Tuesday, which was also attended by Gianaris and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

“I urge Governor Cuomo to sign our legislation into law and help protect all of us from those who would prey on the vulnerable,” Gianaris said. “There should be no place in our society for criminals who repeatedly sexually abuse others in our community.”

Brown, whose office handles more than 70,000 arrests each year, brought the loophole to the attention of Simotas, who took action to correct it. While Simotas introduced the legislation in the Assembly, Gianaris shepherded the bill through the State Senate.

“The bill will close a loophole that has prevented prosecutors like me from holding repeat misdemeanor sex offenders fully accountable for their actions,” Brown said.

“There should be no place in our society for criminals who repeatedly sexually abuse others in our community,” said Gianaris.

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