August 22, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Strengthening Protections for Minors Against Felony Sex Offenders

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Strengthening...

Legislation Prohibits a Minor from Being Placed in Custody or Having Unsupervised Visits with an Individual Who Has Been Convicted of a Felony Sex Offense against that Minor 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S2836C/A4784C) strengthening protections for minors against felony sex offenders. This prevents minors from being placed in the custody of an individual who has been convicted of rape in the first or second degree, sexual conduct against a child in the first degree or predatory sexual assault against a child. The new law specifically prohibits courts from placing a child in the custody of an adult who previously committed a felony sexual offense against them. Additionally, this measure prevents sex offenders from having unsupervised visits with a person who has been convicted of a felony sexual offense against the subject of the visitation order. Although courts already consider these factors in determining whether to place a child in custody of or allow unsupervised visits with an individual, this new law now mandates such a requirement.

"No child should have to endure the trauma of sexual abuse and it is critical that children going into the custody of another individual are safe," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law is common sense: it mandates that minors not be placed in the custody of or have unsupervised visits with anyone who committed a felony sex offense against them and ensuring the future wellbeing of these vulnerable children."

Senator Diane J. Savino said, "The effects that abuse can have on a child over their course are wide-ranging, from depression to alcohol and drug abuse to withdrawal and suicide attempts. It is our duty to ensure that they are protected when it comes to custody and visitation rulings. Those convicted of sex offenses should have to prove that they are suited to have custody or unsupervised visits, not the other way around. I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this bill into law and to seeing the improvements it ultimately makes in our family court system."

Assembly Member Charles D. Fall said, "I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing my first piece of legislation I introduced as the representative of the 61st Assembly District. I also want to thank Senator Diane Savino for taking the lead on this important bill in the New York State Senate. The underlying intent of Marie's Law is to protect and prevent victims of sexual abuse who are related to each other who may come into contact and be revictimized with that registered offender."

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