Girgenti Proposes Bill to Ban Sex Offenders from Youth Organizations

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti, Chairman of the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, to prohibit convicted sexual predators from working at youth organizations was passed by the Senate panel today.

“In recent years too many children have fallen victim to the harmful attacks of sexual predators,”said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic.

Senator Girgenti’s bill, S-2651, would make it illegal for a sex offender to work in both a paid or unpaid capacity, at a youth organization. A violator would be guilty of a third degree crime, which carries a penalty of three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

“Coaches, camp counselors, and activity leaders are looked to for guidance,” said Senator Girgenti. “As long as sex crimes continue to occur, we need to create stronger laws to keep known sexual predators away from our children.”

Senator Girgenti noted that in the past year new legislation that puts restraints on the actions of sex offenders has been enacted.

“Laws have been passed that require those who have been convicted of sex crimes to register where they live, and some have been mandated to wear G.P.S. tracking devices,”said Senator Girgenti. ” My bill will increase the protection of our children, and keep sex offenders from being involved in any way with youth groups.”

The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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