By AVRIL REGIS
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other officials proposed Tuesday a plan to increase jail time and toughen laws for sexual predators.
The proposals were announced weeks after two women were sexually assaulted in city parks.
In September, a 73-year-old birdwatcher was assaulted in broad daylight in Central Park. Two weeks later, a 21-year-old woman was sitting on a bench watching the sunrise in Hudson River Park, when she was attacked, police said.
“We are here today because we are deeply concerned about the recent series of sexual assaults in New York City,” said Speaker Quinn. “These disturbing attacks underscore the need to crack down on sexual predators and help those who are victimized by their crimes.”
Among the proposals Quinn urged passage by the State Legislature were: free run 5.0 treating Level 2 sex offenders, who are at moderate risk of becoming repeat offenders, the same as Level 3 offenders, who are at high risk of repeating, by requiring them to appear before law enforcement to be photographed every year instead of every three years; she also proposed extending the 10-year statute of limitations on prosecuting repeat sex offenders.
“Albany needs to follow the lead of New York City and provide more protection to women on our streets and subway,” said Queens Councilmember Peter Vallone. “A second offense must be punished more severely.”
The officials also urged the Legislature to increase the category for public lewdness from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, which would increase possible penalties from a maximum 90 days to a maximum of one year imprisonment.