ALBANY, NY - The New York State Assembly has finally passed a version of the measure known as Jay J's Law which is named for the case of a WNY child who family members say was beaten by his biological father.
State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak says the intense personal lobbying effort by JJ's grandparents and other family members in Albany helped convince lawmakers after previous failed efforts in the legislature.
The bill would now allow the courts to "look back" up to ten years to determine if a suspected abuser has past convictions and increase the court sentence. The current statute only goes back to three years in a suspect's record. Gabryszak says in the case of little 2 year old JJ Bolvin , his father Jeremy Bolvin, had been convicted four years previously so it could not be cited by the judge.
The child's maternal grandparents, Joe and Tabitha Retzer, say little JJ suffers from a severe seizure disorder and other developmental disorders because of violent shaking and abuse by his father.
The State Senate is also scheduled to vote today on the amended version of the bill. Kevin Retzer says staffers in Governor Cuomo's office have told them it would likely be signed by the Governor.
Gabryszak says he expects there will also be an effort in the next session to increase penalties for repeat abusers who assault a child under the age of 11.