Governor George Pataki has signed into law legislation that extends the Sex Offender Registry's requirements. Without the new law, which was written by New York State Senator Dean Skelos, 168 convicted sex offenders would have escaped Megan's Law on Saturday, Jan. 21, with 226 leaving the Registry by the end of January and 3,579 by the end of the year.
The new law requires Level 3 sex offenders, the most dangerous sexual predators, to remain on the Sex Offender Registry for life; that Level 2 sex offenders remain on Registry for life, but could petition a court to be removed from the Registry after 30 years; and that Level 1 sex offenders would remain on the Registry for 20 years.
"Our tough new registration law ensures that the most dangerous sex offenders never escape the Sex Offender Registry and establishes a model for the rest of the nation to follow. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of the public conference committee process. Hopefully, we will build upon this success by convening conference committees for civil commitment legislation, mandatory community notification, email notification and other important measures needed to protect children and families from sexual predators," said Skelos.
One of the sponsors for the law was Assemblyman Tom Alfano, who noted that there are 437 registered sex offenders in Nassau County. "I'm relieved that sexual predators will no longer be able to slip through the cracks or be dropped from the registry and hinder parents and neighborhoods from protecting themselves," he said.
Elmont Board of Education member Pam Monteverde strongly supported the new law. "Tightening these laws and getting information to our local community will help us protect our children. I'm really happy this new law was passed," she said.
Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, an organization dedicated to protecting children from sexual predators, believes New York has taken a giant step forward in protecting the safety of children. "It is my sincere hope that we can capitalize on this momentum and further enhance children's safety by making all sex offender registry information available via the Internet and by passing legislation that will allow the state to civilly commit violent sexual predators, extend the statute of limitations where DNA evidence is present in violent sex offense cases," she said.
According to the New York State Sex Offender Registry, there are eight registered sex offenders living in Elmont, four in Franklin Square and four in West Hempstead.