CORAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As of Jan. 1st, thousands of sex offenders in New York State no longer have to register or tell anyone where they are living, prompting some concern for local residents.
Under the provision, Level 1 sex offenders who have been listed for at least 20 years are exempt from registering. The level one designation can include child molestation, rape in the first degree and sodomy, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders are required to register for life.
Victims rights advocates are alarmed that on Long Island alone– 70 level one sex offenders will drop off the registry this year.
“We have a stack of level one offenders that have committed serious offenses against young children — as young as 2 years old — and they are going to be dropping off that registry,” Laura Ahearn, of advocacy group Parents of Megan’s Law, said. “That makes absolutely no sense.”
Advocates, citing growing recidivism, want even the lowest level offenders registered at least 30 years.
“I feel like when you are sex offender it is going to happen again,” Lucy Cadesca, of Coram, said.
The registered sex offender list was first created in 1996, requiring 10 years of monitoring, then 20.
The NY Civil Liberties union said keeping offenders as social outcasts increases the chance they’ll strike again.
“They have been told they would be taken off the registry, so going back on that is fundamentally unfair,” Jason Starr, of the NY Civil Liberties Union, Long Island Chapter, said.
Bills are being considered in Albany to keep level one offenders registered for another decade, but until and unless law is changed, offenders will continue to drop off the list.
The bill would still allow offenders who committed offenses before they were age 21 to drop off the registry after 20 years.