2006-06-23 / Community

Legislation Increases Jail Time For Rapists

The New York State Senate has recently passed a crime legislation bill that increases penalties for violent criminals who have been convicted of raping a child.

"Increasing prison sentences for violent crimes is necessary to preserve public safety. I hope that this legislation will serve as a warning to all criminals," said State Senator Malcolm Smith.

The Queens lawmaker said that once the new legislation takes effect, the rape of a child 5 years of age or older will carry a mandatory sentence of 12 to 25 years in prison.

If convicted of sexually assaulting a child under five years of age, the sentence can be as much as 30 years to life.

"I don't know if any punishment can truly be enough for the violent criminals who assault children. However, increasing prison sentences for convicted offenders will keep them off the streets and away from society, preventing them from hurting anyone else. It will also hopefully serve to deter future crimes," said Senator Smith.

The Senator went on to say that there was tremendous support for this legislation in the Senate, including 17 of his Democratic colleagues who co-sponsored the bill, and he is grateful for the support and passage of this legislation. Governor Pataki has indicated his support for this bill.

"I whole-heartedly supported this legislation and I am pleased that it will now become law.

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