NEW YORK: PUSH TO BOLSTER MEGAN’S LAW (Victim tells of fear of attacker’s return to neighborhood at legislative hearing on sex offender rules)
When Richard Russillo returns from prison Tuesday, the convicted sex offender is likely to move back into the same Ridge house where he was arrested, right next door to the boy he fondled. The boy, now 15, said yesterday at a hearing on whether to bolster Megan's Law, He will be back in only a week...That makes me kind of scared. I don't wish what happened to me to happen to any other kid, he said. Russillo, 60, could again live among families unaware of his criminal background, he had a sex crime conviction before his 2002 arrest that predated Megan's Law. On the eve of its 10 year anniversary, a handful of politicians, advocates and victims of sex abuse attended the State Senate committee hearing to say that although Megan's Law was an important first step toward protecting children, more can be done. Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), hopes to pass the Megan's Law Reform Act of 2005 to require lifetime registration, mandatory community notification, Internet tracking, civil confinement and global positioning system tracking. Russillo's attorney, Paul Gianelli, said Megan's Law is already unnecessarily harsh, and that offenders deserve a chance to return to society after they have served their time. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, said she hopes a tougher Megan's Law will make all sex offenders register for life and require sex offenders convicted of the misdemeanor charge endangering the welfare of a child to register as well.