NYC pushes for stronger sex offender laws

Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York

Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council, married her longtime partner, Kim Catullo, on Saturday, May 19, 2012. (May 7, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

After a recent string of sexual assaults across the city, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other elected officials are pushing the state to prevent predators from falling through the cracks.

Although the city can't change the laws governing how sexual predators are charged and supervised after incarceration, it plans to send a resolution to Albany asking state pols to do just that.

Quinn said that too many suspects get lenient sentences or aren't prosecuted strongly enough due to legal loopholes.

"The reason you want larger penalties is, one, to get those criminals off the streets . . . and, two, to act as a deterrent to criminals," she said.

The resolutions unveiled Tuesday will be voted on by the City Council soon.

The package of five bills includes resolutions that call for an increase in the number of times that a convicted sex offender meets with the police from annually to biannually, and expands the time period someone can be charged as "repeat offender."

Quinn is also pushing the city not to cut its program that aids sex assault victims.

The mayor's office supported Quinn's proposals and noted that funding the city's Sexual Assault Response Team has increased by more than a million dollars since its 2004 inception.

Members of the state legislature from the city said they supported the council's efforts and will work to change regulations in Albany.

"It is important that our laws do not provide loopholes for predators," state Assemb. Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) said.

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