FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION STRENGTHENING PUNISHMENT FOR SERIAL ACTS OF PUBLIC LEWDNESS
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me is Introductory Number 562-A, sponsored by Council Members Vallone Jr., James, Nelson, Sanders, Weprin, White, Liu, Recchia, Sears, Gennaro and Gentile. Introductory Number 562-A strengthens the punishment for serial acts of public lewdness.
"Introductory Number 562-A makes repeated acts of public lewdness a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by three years probation, up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars. A person is guilty of serial acts of public lewdness when he or she intentionally exposes him or herself in a lewd manner or commits any other lewd act two or more times within a three-year period.
"Lewd behavior is not only offensive to the victims, it is frightening and violating. Public lewdness is more than just a crime of exhibition; it is a crime of intimidation and can have devastating effects on victims. Victims have no way of telling what their perpetrator will do next, what their intentions are, or whether such behavior will escalate into a more severe attack. Perpetrators predominantly target women and children and often have criminal histories.
"This Administration has been committed to reducing sexual assault in New York City. Several initiatives such as the Sexual Assault Task Force, the John Doe Indictment Project, Sexual Assault Response Teams, the expansion of the DNA Databank, and NYPD's Operation Exposure, have helped us protect New Yorkers and capture the worst offenders. This legislation will add to that success by matching the punishment with the severity of the crime. Making public lewdness a Class A misdemeanor will send a strong message to repeat offenders that this behavior will not be tolerated, dissuade potential perpetrators from committing these acts, and an increased amount of jail time will keep repeat offenders off of the streets and away from potential victims.
"I would like to thank the Criminal Justice Coordinator, John Feinblatt, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and their staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."
Stu Loeser/Michael Levoff (212) 788-2958