ALBANY— Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a three-year ban for serial sex offenders who repeatedly violate riders on the city subway system Tuesday, as part of his 2020 State of the State address.
Cuomo doubled down his past promises to ban perverts from entering the MTA subway, bus and rail systems ahead of his annual SOS speech in Albany Wednesday.
“MTA riders deserve to feel safe, and we have an obligation to ensure they will not be targeted by sex offenders,” the governor said.
“Enough is enough. If we want our public transit system to improve, we need balance between someone’s right to access public transit and the riders’ right to safety, which is why I am proposing a three-year ban from the MTA transit systems as a penalty for individuals who repeatedly engage in this abhorrent behavior.”
The legislation would let the MTA bar creeps that violate the agency’s code of conduct with sexual offenses and those who are Level Three, high risk sex offenders.
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) has repeatedly introduced legislation that would double down on subway predators, but insists the state Assembly is to blame for failing to pass the bill.
Cuomo has also heavily backed the MTA’s hiring of over 500 new transit cops to tackle subway recidivism.
“We embrace every effort to exclude from our subway system this small number of serious offenders who are doing a lot of damage. They are repeat criminals who ride the trains to hunt for victims among the millions of New Yorkers who deserve safe, daily transportation,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea applauded the announcement.
But critics, like the Legal Aid Society, call the plan a “wrongheaded” approach.
“It will further marginalize this group of New Yorkers — many of whom are New Yorkers of color — who are profiled by police when they use mass transit,” the group said in a statement.
“It will sever their access to jobs, critical services, educational opportunities, and treatment programs. Albany should spend less time finding new ways to demonize our already over-policed clients and more time creating opportunities for treatment and necessary services.”
Additional reporting by Tina Moore
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