Albany, N.Y. – (3/26/13) –Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced that the New York State Senate has passed his bill (S2559) to restrict the rights of sex offenders from using social media networks while in prison.
“These sexual predators must be kept away from our children and prevented from ever striking again. This common sense bill will keep these sick individuals off social media websites and out of contact with our children,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I would ideally like to see these predators permanently detained.”
This legislation will restrict a convicted felony sex offender, or violent sex offender from utilizing any social network site during the duration of the offender’s time in detention. This bill will also prohibit a convicted felony sex offender, or violent sex offender from using a computer unless supervised and accessing the internet for any purpose other than performing research or other tasks associated with such person’s legal defense or participation in an education program or class that has been approved.
Senator Ball introduced the legislation after a Dutchess County resident contacted his office back in August of 2011. The mother wrote Senator Ball a letter about her eleven year old daughter who was abducted for thirty hours in January of 2007. The girl was sexually assaulted for the duration of the time before the FBI was able to locate her.
Years after the crime, the mother was shocked to find the man that sexually assaulted her daughter was online on a social media website looking to connect with other children. The prisoner created the account stating that he was interested in children. The website also included his prison address, picture and other information.
“I am so impressed that Senator Ball has stayed on this issue. I can’t express how important this is for our family,” said the mother that contacted Senator Ball’s office. “We have contacted many other elected officials to help with this and Senator Ball has been the only one that responded. It means so much to my family to know that this man is going to pay for his crime. Senator Ball has made us very proud and has our full support.”
“I thank Senator Ball and the members of the New York State Senate for passing this important legislation which protects our most precious resource, our children and grandchildren. I am deeply concerned about sexual predators who, even when incarcerated, continue to attempt to make contact with potential future victims,” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith. “We should take all precautions to protect our most vulnerable population, our children. This Legislation will play a major role in that quest.”
“I am thrilled to hear that Senator Ball has been able to pass this legislation. This provides us an additional layer of protection as we work to assure that our children are safe from sex offenders,” said Ann Ellsworth, Executive Director of the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center. “Social media is a daily form of communication for our youth, and it is so important that we create protections for them as they use this platform.”
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.
For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.