Makes it a class E felony for a sex offender to submit fraudulent information regarding his or her identity or residence when registering or verifying under the Sex Offender Registration Act (Megan's Law).
Ayes (63): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to the penalty for a sex offender submitting fraudulent information respecting his or her identity or residence or both, when registering or verifying such information pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act
PURPOSE: Adds a new section to Megan's Law, which creates a penalty for offering false information when registering as a sex offender.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: section 168-w of the Correction Law is relettered section 166-x and a new section 168-w is added. Under the new section 168-w, a sex offender who is required to register under Megan's Law and submits, with fraudulent intent, false information respecting his/her identity, residence or both is guilty of an "E" felony.
EXISTING LAW: Currently, Megan's Law only provides a penalty for failure to register (section 168-t of the Correction Law). The first offense is an "A" misdemeanor and the second or subsequent offense is a "0" felony. This legislation would create the specific offense of offering a false statement when registering.
JUSTIFICATION: In Monroe County, a sex offender required to register under Megan's Law, circumvented the law by giving a false address to the registry.
The man who failed to properly register had been previously convicted of raping a Rochester girl and served three years in prison for his offense. When released from prison, he was given the highest risk rating possible. He first registered with the sex offender registry in 1996 when he was released from prison. It was not discovered that he had intentionally deceived law enforcement personnel and had broken the law until 2001, when his renewal form was returned as undeliverable after it was sent to the wrong address.
The object of Megan's law is to protect public safety by insuring that people in a neighborhood or community where a sex offender resides after imprisonment are notified of the potential risk such person poses to them or their children. Also, the registry created under Megan's Law insures that law enforcement personnel may have dependable resources that allows them to locate all convicted sex offenders in a region. Without accurate information being given to the registry, the law becomes toothless and unenforceable.
In the case cited above, the sex offender was able to live in a community for 5 years without neighbors or the local law enforcement being notified of the heightened risk. Luckily no harm resulted while his whereabouts were unknown. However, this is a potentially dangerous situation which should not be tolerated and should be punishable.
In charging the sex offender, the prosecutor in Monroe County had to rely on various statutes outside of the registry statute such as falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. Although the sex offender was charged with a failure to register under Megan's Law, the first offense as provided by the statute is only an "A" misdemeanor.
Therefore, this legislation would insure that a specific offense is created within the Corrections Law to deal with the offering of false information when registering under Megan's Law and insure that the offender is appropriately punished as a felon.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2003-2004: S.120-A - Passed Senate 2005-2006: S.970 - Passed Senate 2007-2008: S.274 - Passed Senate 2009-2010: S.794 - Referred to Crime Victims, Crime & Corrections 2011-2012: S.1927 Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any information submitted by a sex offender after its effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3532 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 5, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'BRIEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to the penalty for a sex offender submitting fraudulent information respecting his or her iden- tity or residence or both, when registering or verifying such informa- tion pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 168-w of the correction law, as relettered by chap- ter 604 of the laws of 2005, is relettered section 168-x and a new section 168-w is added to read as follows: S 168-W. SUBMISSION OF FRAUDULENT INFORMATION RESPECTING IDENTITY OR RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION OR VERIFICATION; PENALTY. ANY SEX OFFENDER REQUIRED TO REGISTER OR TO VERIFY PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE WHO, WITH FRAUDULENT INTENT, SUBMITS FALSE INFORMATION RESPECTING HIS OR HER IDENTITY OR RESIDENCE OR BOTH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF, OR IN THE COURSE OF, SATISFYING HIS OR HER DUTY TO REGISTER OR TO VERIFY PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS E FELONY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any information submitted by a sex offender on or after such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06997-01-3