‘Granny’s Law’ Passed, Imposes Stiffer Penalties For Attacks On Elderly
The New York state senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill (S.6979), sponsored by Senator Serphin R. Maltese (R-Glendale), that would impose stiffer penalties for physical attacks on senior citizens. Under current law, it is a Class A misdemeanor to cause physical harm to another person. This bill would elevate the assault of a person 65 years of age or older when the perpetrator is more than 10 years younger than the victim to assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The bill will be sent to Governor David Paterson for his consideration.
Maltese and his Senate Majority colleagues first introduced and passed “Granny’s Law” legislation following last year’s brutal attacks on Rose Morat, a 101-year-old Queens woman who was mugged on her way to church. The same attacker went on to beat and mug 85-year-old Solange Elizee just a half an hour later.
“We cannot allow seniors to be targeted and assaulted simply because they are not physically able to defend themselves,” Maltese, a former Queens Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau, said. “When anyone gets mugged and assaulted, I consider it to be a serious crime, but assaulting the elderly is an outrageous and potentially life-threatening crime that clearly calls out for more severe penalties. We have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable in our society.”
“A person capable of committing cowardly attacks against our seniors is not just a mugger—they are a danger to society and should be behind bars for as long as possible,” Senator Martin J. Golden (R, C-Brooklyn), chairman of the Senate Task Force on Critical Choices, said. “For the past year, we have pressured the Assembly Majority to take action on legislation to impose tougher penalties on criminals who brutalize senior citizens. While it is unfortunate that it took them so long to take action, we are pleased that they are finally on board with us with this legislation that will protect our elderly New York citizens.”
“There is no question that seniors are generally more vulnerable to crime and less able to protect themselves,” said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. “New York has been shocked and outraged by heinous crimes against seniors, including Rose Morat, Solange Elizee and just last month, an 87-year-old Bronx woman who was beaten by two men in their twenties. I commend Senator Golden and Senator Maltese for their leadership and persistence in getting the Assembly Majority to take action on behalf of New York’s seniors.”