Establishes the class B misdemeanor of failure to report sexual assault of a child, when being 18 years old or older, a person witnesses the commission of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and fails to report such assault to law enforcement officials within 24 hours of witnessing the assault.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to failure to report a sexual assault of a child
PURPOSE: To establish the failure to report sexual assault of a child as a Class B misdemeanor.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The Penal Law is amended by adding two new sections 260.35 and 260.40. Section 260.35 defines "sexual assault" for the purposes of this article. Section 260.40 establishes the crime of failure to report sexual assault of a child as a Class B misdemeanor. A person is guilty of failure to report sexual assault of a child when he, being eighteen years old or older, knowingly witnesses the sexual assault of a child less than sixteen years old, and fails to report such assault within twenty-four hours. Such report is to be made to a police officer, district attorney or law enforcement official within the county or city in which such assault was committed.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation is in response to the molestation and murder of a seven-year-old girl in a Nevada casino in May of 1997, while a bystander did nothing.
In most states there is no legal recourse for this type of heinous activity because there is not a "Good Samaritan" law requiring witnesses to report crimes to the proper authorities. This bill does not require people to intervene on potentially dangerous situations, it does however require people to report the crime they witnessed.
At the federal level, legislation has been introduced to honor this child called the "Sherrice Iverson Act." The federal proposal amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to require States receiving funds under Section 106 of such Act to have in effect a State law providing for a criminal penalty on an individual who fails to report witnessing another individual engaging in sexual assault or abuse of a child.
In any event, in light of continuing crimes against innocent children in today's society, it is of vital importance for New York State to be at the forefront of laws aimed at protecting our children.
2009-2010: S.1477 - Referred to Codes 2007-2008: S.431 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2005-2006: S.2724 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2003-2004: S.277 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2001-2002: S.388-A - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 1999-2000: S.12-B - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2006 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. SKELOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to failure to report a sexual assault of a child THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding two new sections 260.35 and 260.40 to read as follows: S 260.35 SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEFINED. FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 260.40 OF THIS ARTICLE, "SEXUAL ASSAULT" MEANS THE COMMISSION OF: 1. A SEX OFFENSE DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS CHAP- TER; 2. A SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD DEFINED IN ARTICLE TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER; OR 3. INCEST AS DEFINED IN SECTION 255.25 OF THIS CHAPTER. S 260.40 FAILURE TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF FAILURE TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD WHEN HE OR SHE, BEING EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD OR OLDER, KNOWINGLY WITNESSES THE COMMISSION OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OLD, AND FAILS TO REPORT SUCH ASSAULT WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE WITNESSED COMMISSION THEREOF TO A POLICE OFFICER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL WITHIN THE COUNTY OR CITY IN WHICH SUCH ASSAULT WAS COMMITTED. FAILURE TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD IS A CLASS B MISDEMEA- NOR. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06197-01-1