ALBANY – There are now a new set of laws in place to better protect New Yorkers from domestic violence, stalking and public lewdness.
On Thursday Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a series of bills that strengthen existing laws and add new measures for crimes related to harassment, stalking and indecent exposure.
According to the governor’s office, the new measure regarding Aggravated Harassment addresses a hole in the penal law and will make it easier for prosecutors to go over domestic violence offenders charged with 2nd degree aggravated harassment.
Another bill signed by the Governor addresses the use of GPS devices and stalking, which are also significant issues in the area of domestic violence. The bill expands the crime of stalking to include the unauthorized use of a GPS or other electronic device to track another individual. This legislation is also known as “Jackie’s Law,” in memory of Jackie Wisniewski of West Seneca, who was killed after being stalked by a former boyfriend utilizing a GPS tracking device on her car.
A third measure signed into law establishes Public Lewdness in the First Degree, a class A misdemeanor. This new misdemeanor applies to individuals aged 19 or older who intentionally expose themselves to children under the age of 16, and is punishable by up to one year in jail.