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Sex offender living restrictions tighten

Massapequa Park is an incorporated village in the

Massapequa Park is an incorporated village in the Town of Oyster Bay on the South Shore of Long Island in Nassau County. The village has a population of 17,008, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. (July 21, 2012) Credit: Brittany Wait

Registered sex offenders already prohibited from living within a mile of any school, park or other offender in 2.2-square-mile Massapequa Park are now further restricted by a new law passed this week.

Village officials Monday closed a legal loophole that allowed offenders to return to homes they kept before their convictions, voting 3-0 to drop the exception from the code book.

"Anybody who puts a child in danger . . . really doesn't deserve a second chance," Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said. "People have said this is harsh, but I'm looking at the state to pass a law to keep these criminals, these predators, behind bars for a longer sentence."

Residents at the public hearing seemed generally supportive of the change, with mother-of-four Debra McWilliams asking if the stringent law would stand up in court.

"It could be challenged," Altadonna admitted, "but we are going to enforce it."

A First District Court judge in Hempstead ruled in March 2011 that a Nassau County law restricting offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools was invalid and inconsistent with state law. State law does not restrict where offenders can live, but some might be limited by the terms of their parole or probation.

The New York State Public Registry of Sex Offenders on Tuesday showed just two offenders with Massapequa Park ZIP codes. The village has about 17,000 residents.

There are "a couple" of Massapequa Park homes where offenders can legally live, Altadonna said.

Many municipalities with residency restrictions typically bar offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools and other properties children frequent.

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