FORUM TARGETS MEGAN’S LAW LOOPHOLES
At a daylong conference at the Hampton Inn Brookhaven, in Farmingville, State Assembly members heard horrid tales of child sexual abuse Friday. Parents for Megan's Law, the Stony Brook based organization that monitors compliance with Megan's Law, coordinated the closed door forum designed to expose and close what the sponsors consider gaping loopholes in Megan's Law and State Assemb. Patricia Eddington (D-Patchogue), a certified social worker, presided over the forum. The State Assembly members were brought face-to-face with victims of sexual abuse and their parents. Some said the sex offenders evaded the grasp of Megan's Law, the measure designed to warn the community about the presence of a sexual predator. Marc Klass, a victims' advocate whose daughter Polly was abducted, raped and killed in October 1993 by a man who broke into their California home, called at the forum for retroactive registration of sex offenders and allowing communities more access to information through door-to-door notification by police officers about predators. According to Newsday, if passed, the laws being considered by the Assembly would prohibit convicted sex offenders from operating ice cream trucks, require those convicted before Megan's Law was passed to register with local law enforcement, force juveniles convicted of sex offenses to register, impose an 11-month minimum sentence for offenders who target children, require background checks for people involved in youth sports and make active notification by law enforcement mandatory statewide. Other laws being considered would bar convicted sex offenders from obtaining unsupervised visits with kids and enact civil confinement, which may keep an offender in psychiatric treatment until his release doesn't imperil society even if it exceeds his prison term. State Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) said, We need more forums like this. His proposed bill requires real estate brokers to provide instructions to home buyers on how to use the sex offender registry.