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Paulin's Forcible Touching Bill Passes Assembly

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2010 Contact: Allison Esposito // Work: (914) 723-1115 / Cell: (914) 924-0032//

Assemblywoman Paulin’s Forcible Touching Bill Passes Assembly

Assemblywoman Paulin’s bill (A9938) to expand the definition of “sexual contact” to include the emission of ejaculate by a person upon any part of a victim, has passed the Assembly.

Advocates for victims say these kinds of attacks are a problem on our campuses, subways and trains-- unfortunately anywhere a crowd gathers. There have been instances of these attacks on college campuses--such an incident caused Connecticut to pass similar legislation.

If the bill becomes law, it would change the definition of sexual contact to include ejaculating on others for the purpose of sexual gratification, allowing police to charge offenders under the harsher sexual abuse laws.

Lisa Friel, Chief of the sex crimes unit for the NY District Attorney said there have been instances where serial offenders have been identified by DNA, yet the offender could only be charged with a B misdemeanor crime (public lewdness). Paulin’s bill would change this crime from a B misdemeanor to an A misdemeanor.

This would be the same charge if the perpetrator had exposed himself and had made no physical contact with his victim.

"The sex crimes prosecutors in the state applaud Assemblywoman Paulin's efforts to make this incredibly offensive criminal behavior the sex crime that it clearly is,” said Lisa Friel, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit for the New York District Attorney’s Office.

“Making this behavior a sex crime will allow us to better deal with these offenders and most importantly, protect the public from the repeat offenders.”

Assemblywoman Paulin said it’s important that the punishment fit the crime.

“People who have been attacked in this way endure much of the same trauma that other sexual assault victims sustain,” said Assemblywoman Paulin, “This legislation brings this horrendous act in line with other sexual offenses, therefore extending power to victims to press meaningful charges.”

Seven states already have similar legislation: Colorado; Connecticut; Florida; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; and Wisconsin.



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