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A00255 Summary:

BILL NOA00255A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02233-A
 
SPONSORGottfried
 
COSPNSRSeawright, Sayegh, Barron, Simon, Steck, Quart, Paulin, Gallagher, Vanel, Hevesi, Otis, Gonzalez-Rojas, Epstein, Kelles, Galef, Cruz, Glick
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §230.45, Pen L
 
Provides immunity from prosecution for certain individuals engaged in prostitution who are victims of or witnesses to a crime and who report such crime or assist in the investigation or prosecution.
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A00255 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A255A
 
SPONSOR: Gottfried
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to individuals engaged in prostitution who are victims of or witnesses to a crime   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To encourage sex workers who are crime victims and witnesses to seek help without fear of being prosecuted for prostitution.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 creates a new Penal Law § 230.45 to provide immunity from prosecution under § 230.00 (prostitution), § 230.03 (prostitution in a school zone), and § 230.40 (permitting prostitution) to victims of and witnesses to crimes under the following circumstances: when the victim or witness reports the crime to a law enforcement agency, seeks or receives health care services, or aids in the investigation of the crime. Section 2 is the effective date, 60 days after it becomes a law.   JUSTIFICATION: Because of our laws, sex workers work in an inherently criminal environ- ment in which they are often targeted for violence. They often don't report violent crimes or seek medical attention because they fear being prosecuted for prostitution. Attackers exploit this fear and commit heinous crimes with impunity, solely because of the nature of their victims' work. This bill protects a victim or witness to a crime from prosecution for prostitution, prostitution in a school zone, or permitting prostitution (which is what a roommate would be charged with) when they seek help. The concept is similar to the so-called "Good Samaritan" law we enacted in 2011 to protect people who seek help for someone suffering an over- dose. We all deserve the right to seek safety and health care services. It is in the public interest to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward and aid law enforcement. This bill will help deter violent crime and protect vulnerable New Yorkers.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-2020: A.8869 referred to Rules committee   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 60 days after it shall have become a law, and shall apply to any prosecution pending on or after the time it shall take effect.
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A00255 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         255--A
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  GOTTFRIED, SEAWRIGHT, SAYEGH, BARRON, SIMON,
          STECK, QUART, PAULIN, GALLAGHER --  read  once  and  referred  to  the
          Committee  on  Codes  --  committee  discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation  to  individuals  engaged  in
          prostitution who are victims of or witnesses to a crime
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 230.45  to
     2  read as follows:
     3  § 230.45 Immunity from prosecution.
     4    This section applies where a person is the victim of or a witness to a
     5  crime  (including an individual who becomes aware that another person is
     6  a victim of a crime), and has engaged or is alleged to have  engaged  in
     7  an  act prohibited under section 230.00, 230.03, or 230.40 of this chap-
     8  ter at or in reasonable proximity to the time  of  the  crime  or  under
     9  circumstances  reasonably  related to the crime, and, in good faith, (a)
    10  reports the crime to a criminal law enforcement  agency,  (b)  seeks  or
    11  receives  health  care services as a result of the crime, or (c) assists
    12  or attempts to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the  crime.
    13  No  such  victim  or witness to the crime shall be charged or prosecuted
    14  for the offense under section 230.00, 230.03, or 230.40 of this chapter.
    15  As used in this section, "crime" shall include an  act  that  reasonably
    16  appears  to be a crime, regardless of whether it results in a conviction
    17  as a crime.
    18    § 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    19  have  become  a  law,  and  shall apply to any prosecution pending on or
    20  after the time it shall take effect.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00486-02-1
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