New York just made it tougher on repeat child abusers, and harder for offenders to hide behind a loophole.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Monday that allows authorities to look back 10 years to see if an offender had any previous child abuse convictions. The previous standard had been just three years.
The crime of intentionally injuring a child under 11 years old also becomes a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of four years in prison. It replaces a lesser misdemeanor charge that had a maximum sentence of up to a year in a local jail.
The law is named for Jay-J Bolvin, a child who was beaten so badly in 2011 that he was left with 11 broken bones and epilepsy. But his attacker was able to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, because his past assault on a child that resulted in a broken arm happened more than three years earlier.
“We are taking a step forward in safeguarding children across New York state, and immediately ensuring that repeat offenders are met with heightened penalties that match the seriousness of their actions,” Cuomo said Monday.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak, both Erie County Democrats, went into effect immediately.