NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr. are calling for a new state law to stop sex offenders from being allowed in children’s reading rooms.
The push comes following an incident last month in which a convicted sex offender was accused of molesting two young girls in a public library in Flushing, Queens.
“Right now, whether we like it or not, the law allows a sex offender to go into a public library, but what we don’t have to allow is that same individual to go into the children’s reading room area,” de Blasio told 1010 WINS.
Both officials have put forward a City Council resolution urging the State Legislature to update the current criminal code.
“There are laws right now that make it a criminal offense for any convicted sex offender to go to a playground, to go onto the area of the playground — that’s an additional offense and that is a deterrent to keep these kind of individuals away from our children,” de Blasio said.
Vallone Jr. said that such a measure is simply “common sense” and that children need “every protection we can give them.”
Both officials have turned their focus to reading rooms because courts have previously overturned attempts to bar sex offenders from libraries altogether.
“We want the deterrent effect. We want these sex offenders to know that literally just stepping foot in the area will immediately be a violation of the law, ” de Blasio said.
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