Council pushes for tougher penalties on sex offenders
After a recent string of sexual assaults across the city, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other elected officials are pushing the state to prevent predators from falling through the cracks.
Although the city can't change the laws governinghow sexual predators are charged and supervised after incarceration, it plans to send a resolution to Albany asking state pols to do just that.
Quinn said that too many suspects get lenient sentences or aren't prosecuted strongly enough due to legal loopholes.
"The reason you want larger penalties is, one, to get those criminals off the streets . . . and two to act as a deterrent to criminals," she said.
The resolutions unveiled yesterday will be voted on by the City Council in the near future.
The package of five bills include resolutions that call for an increase in the number of times that a convincted sex offenders meet with the police from annually to biannually and expands the time period someone can be charged with as "repeat offender."
Quinn is also pushing the city not to cut its program that aids sex assault victims.
The mayor's office supported Quinn's proposals and noted that funding the city's Sexual Assault Response Team has increased by more than a million dollars since its 2004 inception.
City members of the state legislature said they supported the council's efforts and will work to change regulations in Albany.
"It is important that our laws do not provide loopholes for predators," state Assemb. Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) said.