Legislature Let Sex Offender Law Die

12:58 AM, Feb 2, 2013   |    comments
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The Erie County Legislators must vote on a budget before midnight Tuesday night.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- This week, we continued our coverage on a legal loophole that allows any convicted sex offender to still have access to children by working as a karate instructor or lifeguard.

It turns out the Erie County Legislature had a chance to act to close this loophole, but didn't.

Back in 2011, outgoing legislator Dan Kozub proposed legislation that would have made it illegal for convicted sex offenders to loiter near places where children gather like schools, libraries, or even martial arts studios.  After Kozub left office, the bill died in committee.

Our Aaron Saykin asked Legislator Timothy Hogues, who chairs the committee, "This was more than a year ago. What happened to that resolution? What happened to that law?"

"It seemed that it was too restrictive. And a lot of information in there talked about the distance they couldn't be from daycare centers and libraries and beaches. So when we talked about it in committee, we realized there are bus stops and people have to work in that vicinity. So by no means do we want our children to be in harms way, but we also have to be fair and think about will the individual be able to live and work," said Hogues.

Hogues tells us the legislature is still considering an alternative measure, although they're waiting to see whether the state acts first.


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