Seneca Moves Forward On Sex Offender Law

The Seneca County Board of Supervisors is considering a proposed local law that would prohibit certain high and moderate risk sex offenders from living near places where children congregate.According to Seneca County Attorney Steven Getman, the proposed loca law passed the county’s “Government Operations, Personnel andTechnology” Committee Tuesday (July 25, 2006). The full board will take up the measure August 8.Under the proposed law, “Level 2” and “Level 3″ sex offenders would not be allowed to establish residence within five hundred (500) feet fromany land used as a camp, daycare center, park, playground or school. They would also be banned from county-owned parks, Getman said.”A Level 3 sex offender, as classified by the state Sex Offender Registry, is considered at high risk of committing a repeat offense,” Getman noted. “A Level 2 sex offender is classified as a moderaterisk.”The local law was proposed following reports of more than sixty Level 2 and 3 sex offenders living in Seneca County, including near localschools. Currently, state law does not prohibit this.Board Chairman Robert Shipley praised the draft law as “an important step in the protection of our children.””County officials will continue to work on this matter, both at the local and state level,” Shipley said.A similar law was passed in Binghamton, New York. However, that local law was repealed, following a lawsuit brought by a group of convictedsex offenders, with the assistance of the New York Civil Liberties Union.The county is working to insure that any local law passed by Seneca County cannot meet the same fate, Getman noted.

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