arrested a Nanuet man accused of exposing himself to two children and sexually abusing another separate incidents at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski announced legislation that would create tougher penalties for public lewdness.One day after Clarkstown Police
“These unsettling incidents highlight a weakness in our laws where horrendous crimes are treated with minor consequences,” Zebrowski said.
The legislation would increase the penalties for public lewdness and provide grounds for registering individuals as sex offenders. The bill calls for the creation of three levels of public lewdness with increasing severity of penalties. Public Lewdness is currently a class B misdemeanor with no requirement for sex offender registration. The new legislation would two new levels of crimes of public lewdness including "intent of sexual gratification" that would bring increased penalties. Repeat offenders or offenses with victims under the age would qualify for public lewdness in the first degree, a class E felony that would require addition to the sex offender registry.
According to the release from Zebrowski's office, Clarkstown Police brought several incidents to the Assemblyman's attention and suggested legal changes.
"The Clarkstown Police Department has investigated numerous public lewdness incidents at the Palisades Mall over the past few years," said Clarkstown Police Detective John Fredericks. "In the past 6 months alone, the department has arrested two individuals who perpetrated this offense numerous times. As the public lewdness law stands now, it is a more serious crime to steal a soda from a grocery store than it is to expose yourself to a child,”
“This legislation will ensure that there is parity between the severity of the crimes that these offenders commit and their punishment. We must ensure tougher penalties to protect the public, and especially, our children,” Zebrowski said.