Queens elected officials were elated about a recently-passed law that hopes to crack down on persistent sexual abuse.
According to a press release by Queens DA Richard Brown’s office, persistent sexual abuse would make the conviction of three or more misdemeanor sex offenses in a 10-year period a felony. Before passage of that legislation, time that a suspect already spent in jail was taken into account for that time period.
The loophole was problematic, according to the DA’s office, because it would lead to shorter prison time for those convicted of sexual abuse.
“The bill —which is now before the Governor for his approval — will close a loophole that has prevented prosecutors like myself from holding repeat misdemeanor sex offenders fully accountable for their actions,” Brown said in the release.
Both State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) were instrumental in getting the bill passed through their respective government bodies and is now awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval.
“The law must provide protection for the most vulnerable among us, not a shield for predators,” Simotas said. “The legislation’s passage is an important step towards ensuring that individuals who commit persistent sexual abuse face the full consequences of their crimes.”
According to the release, Brown noticed the loophole and brought it to Simotas’ attention, which began the process of changing the law for persistent sexual abuse.