Bill would allow county gov'ts to decide how far sex offenders can live from schools

Posted: Updated:
SMITHTOWN -

There's a new push in Albany to keep child sex predators from living near schools.

Smithtown's Ann Snak was "shocked" to find out that state law allows some dangerous sex offenders to live near schools.

Suffolk and Nassau counties had put into place tough laws that prevented some sex offenders from living close to schools, day care centers and parks. But the state Court of Appeals struck them down a few years ago because there was a state law already in place. Victims rights activists say that state law doesn't have the same strict residency restrictions as the former county laws.

During April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, there's now a push to pass state legislation that would give county governments the right to make their own laws if they choose to do so. State Sen. Monica Martinez is the bill's sponsor.

If the law passes, the farthest Nassau and Suffolk could force a sex offender to live away from a school would be 1,000 feet. That's less than the quarter-mile restriction previously in place in Suffolk. It would not apply to parks, playgrounds or day care centers, only public, private and charter schools.

Laura Ahearn, of Parents for Megan's Law, says the law would ideally apply to those excluded places, but it would likely be overturned again.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Sights and scenes at the Hampton Classic

    Sights and scenes at the Hampton Classic

    Sunday, August 25 2019 1:06 PM EDT2019-08-25 17:06:10 GMT
    Photos from the 44th Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton.
    Photos from the 44th Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton.
  • Check out food options at the US Open in Queens

    Check out food options at the US Open in Queens

    Sunday, August 25 2019 4:46 PM EDT2019-08-25 20:46:57 GMT
    Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
    Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
    First serve! Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
    First serve! Check out some of the food options at the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
  • Zac Brown Band performs at Jones Beach

    Zac Brown Band performs at Jones Beach

    Saturday, August 24 2019 10:24 AM EDT2019-08-24 14:24:28 GMT
    Zac Brown Band performs at Jones Beach
    Zac Brown Band performs at Jones Beach
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."