June 22, 2012

NY Senate Passes Avella's Sexual Predator Bill

6-22-2012 New York:

Legislature unanimously passes bill that would speed up risk level determination process.

The state Senate has passed a bill proposed by Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, that would speed up the risk level determination timetable for convicted sex offenders.

The legislation would ensure that offenders are officially categorized under the state's Sex Offender Registration Act prior to their sentencing or release from incarceration.

The state Senate unanimously voted in favor of the bill on Wednesday, but the state Assembly has yet to act on the legislation.

"There is no reason that known sex offenders should be residing in our neighborhoods without [communities] knowing the danger they present," Avella said.

Current laws stipulate that risk level determination hearings for sex offenders must take place at least 45 days after notice of the hearing that is provided upping sentencing.

Avella's bill would require that notice of a risk level hearing be given to the offender and district attorney within five days of the conviction for those who are expected to be released on probation or discharged.

The legislation calls for the hearing to be held within 20 days of the notice and prior to sentencing.

Avella proposed the bill following the 2011 arrest of convicted sex offender Joseph Denice, who violated probation by volunteering at northeast Queens Catholic schools, including St. Mel's in Whitestone.

State Assemblyman Michael Miller, D-Woodhaven, is carrying the bill in the Assembly. ..Source.. by Nathan Duke

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