Vallone Agrees With Stronger Sex Predator Sentences
City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. yesterday commended Governor George Pataki for his proposal to increase penalties for sex offenders and create a new law of ‘predatory sexual assault’ with a mandatory 25-to-life minimum sentence in some cases.
Vallone said he had introduced a resolution last year calling for adoption of the same legislation as that now proposed by the governor. The resolution had passed the council unanimously with bipartisan support. Vallone said the governor’s proposal would be the New York state version of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which was passed in Florida after a 9-year-old girl by that name was raped and killed.
In a letter to the Republican governor, Vallone (D–Astoria) stated: “In the past, I have been proud to support your measures in this area, including [that] to civilly confine high-level sex offenders after their prison sentence and strengthening Megan’s Law, both of which were also called for by unanimous City Council resolutions.
“While we are in favor of these measures, the only way to truly protect our children is to keep these monsters behind bars. This is why I’m so pleased that this new law will increase the penalties for these sexual predators.”
According to an Associated Press report in yesterday’s New York Times , under Pataki’s proposal, time served as a result of plea bargains and other factors in cases involving sexual predators would change.
Sentences would go up to as much as 25 years to life and life in prison without parole. The minimum sentence on conviction for committing a sex crime against a child would be 25 years, the story said.
Pataki was quoted as saying, “We have to have penalties that come close to the magnitude of the crime.” The governor released his proposals before the Democrat-led Assembly released its own package of sexual predator bills, which is different from what the governor called for.