CUOMO SIGNED LAW PROTECTING PRIVACY OF SEX CRIME VICTIMS
August 1, 2019
Victims of human trafficking, stalking and sexual offenses gain additional protections under legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday that conceals their addresses from preying perps.
The state’s “Address Confidentiality Program” already protects domestic violence victims by giving state-provided substitute addresses for all work, home or school addresses.
The new law expands the program’s scope to include sex crime victims deemed at “increased risk” should their addresses be searchable by those who wish to do them harm.
“Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again,” Cuomo said. “By signing this legislation into law we will help protect survivors from further abuse by shielding their address from public view and hopefully provide a measure of comfort as they move forward with their lives.”
David Hoovler, the newly elected president of the state District Attorneys Association, said the law is a welcome “rollback” of a criminal justice overhaul the governor and legislature approved earlier this year.
The changes require prosecutors to turn over evidence like addresses, witness and victim names.
“District attorneys have always had concerns about the safety of victims and witnesses of all crimes. This bill seems like a bit of a roll back of the recently passed discovery laws,” he told The Post.
“In addition to concern for victims of sex crimes, I hope our lawmakers continue to examine the safety concerns of victims and witnesses of all violent crimes. The bill is a small step that puts a category of victims first. However, when you’re the victim of a crime, regardless of what happened to you, the last thing that you want is the person who allegedly committed that crime knowing personal information about you,” he said.
“Simply, most victims find those disclosures unnerving,” he added.
The law takes effect in three months.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.