Changes the age of the intended victim of aggravated assault, penal law 120.12, from less than eleven to less than fourteen years.
BILL NUMBER: S3804
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the penal law, in relation to changing the age of the victim intended for a specific crime of assault
To include eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds within the protections of the crime of aggravated assault.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
Section 1 of the bill amends § 120.12 of the Penal Law to raise the age of a victim of aggravated assault from eleven to fourteen. This brings within the protections of the statute eleven, twelve and thirteen year-olds. Assault in the second degree and Assault in the first degree are added as new predicate crimes. In addition, the look-back period for a predicate crime to trigger this aggravated crime is extended to ten years from the current three.
Section 2 of the bill is the effective date.
In 1990, the Legislature enacted § 120.12 of the Penal Law designed to enhance the penalties for an adult (a person eighteen years of age or older) who assaults a child (a person less than eleven years of age) and thereby causes injury. This legislation expands on that very good idea to broaden its protections to eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds and impose a longer period of time for a predicate crime. The current statute is designed to punish as a felon any adult who engages in successive misdemeanor assaults upon a child within a three-year period. The original sponsor believed § 120.12 was necessary to assist prosecutors in child abuse cases where proof of intent was difficult and most indictments were resulting in simple 3rd degree assault convictions, a Class A misdemeanor.
According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, in the ensuing 16 years, while prosecutions have increased somewhat, convictions have not. Since a successful prosecution in 1996, 159 defendants have been charged with aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old without another single conviction. This evidence suggests that as a plea bargaining tool this statute has a place, but as' an effective weapon in a prosecutor's arsenal, its requires upgrading. By increasing the age of the victim from "less than eleven years of age" to "less than fourteen years of age", we bring under the protection of the statute eleven, twelve and thirteen year-olds. In addition, by adding two predicate crimes and extending the period for a predicate crime to trigger a prosecution under the statute, we provide further protection to children who have been subject to additional abuse over a longer period of time.
PRIOR LEGISLATION HISTORY :
2008: Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3804 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 1, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. FLANAGAN, O. JOHNSON, LAVALLE, MORAHAN, PADAVAN, SALAND, SEWARD, WINNER -- 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 changing the age of the victim intended for a specific crime of assault THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 120.12 of the penal law, as added by chapter 477 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: S 120.12 Aggravated assault upon a person less than
[eleven]FOURTEEN years old. A person is guilty of aggravated assault upon a person less than [eleven]FOURTEEN years old when being eighteen years old or more the defendant commits the crime of assault in the third degree as defined in section 120.00 of this article upon a person less than [eleven]FOURTEEN years old and has been previously convicted of such crime, ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 120.05 OF THIS ARTICLE, OR ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 120.10 OF THIS ARTICLE upon a person less than [eleven]FOURTEEN years old within the preceding [three]TEN years. Aggravated assault upon a person less than [eleven]FOURTEEN years old is a class E felony. 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. LBD06494-01-9