Legislators are proposing a law to close a loophole that prevented New York’s disgraced ex-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from being prosecuted for allegedly harassing and physically abusing four women.
“The recent investigation of abuse allegations against former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman highlighted deficits in our laws that preclude criminal charges in many cases of non-consensual, sexually motivated violence. It is critical that the legislature acts to fix these shortcomings in order to remove barriers to justice for victims and prevent future perpetrators from evading consequences,” Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) said in her bill memo.
Under current state law, the act of slapping, striking or kicking an individual without their consent can only be charged if the perp’s intent was to “alarm, harass or annoy” or if there is proof of physical injury.
The bill would establish a misdemeanor crime for acts of domestic violence “committed for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.”
“It was important to define what this specific crime is because that did not exist. Step number one was creating room for this specific behavior,” Biaggi said Monday.
Schneiderman denied he committed any crimes but added that “does not mean I have done nothing wrong” and offered an apology “for any and all pain that I have caused.”
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