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Local Legislator Seeks Change to Sex Offender Registration Law

By Kerry Longobucco.
Thousands of sex offenders will come off the state's registry this year. But one Broome County legislator and a local advocate have teamed up to bring change to New York's Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).

The state law, enacted in 1996, requires level one sex offenders to be registered for 20 years. By 2016's end, the whereabouts of many of these criminals will be untraceable -- even for police.

But a concerned local legislator has submitted an advisory resolution that would tighten registry regulations.

Democrat Mary Kaminsky (D-14) submitted a formal request for a change to the state law. She's partnered with Dave Lindsey, whose 12-year-old daughter Cheri was raped and killed in 1984. He's recently been fighting for an end to the 20-year expiration period.

Kaminsky wants level one offenders kept on the registry for 25 years minimum -- and believes they should only be erased from the database after undergoing a mental health evaluation.

"I don't know how the passage of time can actually change somebody's risk factor. So, we're also requesting a mental health evaluation," Kaminsky said. "I think that that's really much more appropriate to decide if somebody is a risk or not anymore."

"Some of these people are dangerous, and just because they've been deemed low risk, that just doesn't hack it," Lindsey said. "You have to watch these people."

Kaminsky says there are currently 279 level one sex offenders in Broome County. Detectives from the Broome County Sheriff's Office say at least one is due to the come off the registry this year.