Lawmakers push crackdown on sex offender housing
Lawmakers want to place more restrictions on where sex offenders can live after a Level 3 offender was found living across the street from two elementary schools.
News 12 previously reported that Raul Torres, who served time for sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in 2002, listed his address right across the street from Babylon Elementary School.
Complicating the push for stricter laws, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in February of last year that local municipalities did not have the legal authority to enact tougher residency restrictions than those already on the books at the state level.
In response to that ruling, state Sen. Michael Venditto, of Massapequa, sponsored a bill that would change the state law. The bill has passed the state Senate but stalled in the Assembly.
"We want local municipalities, like the Village of Babylon, our towns, our cities and our counties in United States to determine where and where not sex offenders can live," Venditto says.
Officials from various levels of government in the Babylon area are circulating a petition calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in.
The state Legislature's session ended in June, and lawmakers are not expected back in Albany until early next year.