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Speaker Quinn Announces Plan To Get Tough On Sex Offenders

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Tuesday announced a five-point plan prescribing tougher penalties for sexual predators.

As 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reports, the plan would also mean an increased support for victims.

1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reports


WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reports Quinn is calling on judges to mete up maximum penalties, and is urging the City Council to pass "stronger punishment for sex crimes, and include measures to thwart – we hope – to thwart repeat sexual attacks."

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reports


Speaking at City Hall, Quinn said one of the proposals would change state law to require Level 2 sex offenders to appear in person and meet with law enforcement officials once a year.

"Currently, only Level 3 offenders are required to appear each year, and Level 2 offenders appear once every three years," Quinn said.

A Level 2 sex offender is a convict who is deemed to have a moderate risk of a repeat offense, while a Level 3 offender is considered high-risk and a threat to public safety.

Another proposal would call on judges to seek maximum penalties for sex crimes.

Quinn says the goal of the plan is simple.

"We're not going to yield one piece of parkland, not one blade of grass, not one street corner in the city of New York to sexual predators," she said.

Quinn's proposed plan comes on the heels of a three high-profile sex assaults in city parks.

In the latest alleged assault in Tompkins Square Park, a homeless man identified as Ruben Canales, 27, has been charged with rape.

Canales' alleged victim, a 31-year-old woman, told police she fell asleep on a park bench around 10 p.m. Friday and woke up to find someone trying to rape her. The woman told police she fought off her attacker, but he followed her until she walked into a nearby bodega.

Two other sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults were also reported in city parks over the past month.

On Sept. 22, 25-year-old Jonathan Stewart was arrested for beating and choking a 21-year-old woman before dragging her into the bushes at Hudson River Park and raping her, the NYPD said.

A week before that alleged attack, David Albert Mitchell was indicted on several charges in connection with the rape of a 73-year-old birdwatcher in Central Park.

Quinn on Tuesday also announced her opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to cut funding for the city's sexual assault response teams.

On Monday, city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called on the NYPD to take action against sexual assaults – specifically in parks – by compiling and publishing data specific to assaults on park land.

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