After a New York City Council Member proposed banning repeat offenders of subway sex crimes, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he approves of a two-strike rule. "If you are convicted of two sexual offenses on the subway system... I fully support saying after the second conviction you are banned from going back through the subway," the governor said on Tuesday.
"You have people who target victims in the subways," he added. "I believe that the MTA has been remiss. I believe you need legislative change. Some jurisdictions have tried to do it administratively... That really hasn’t worked."
Council Member Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn) spoke up about a ban after the Post reported on the challenges the NYPD faces with recidivist subway sex offenders, with one police source saying, "We spot people we know are going to do this and we have to follow them until they spot another victim. We have to wait until they victimize someone else."
In recent years, Albany has passed legislation to increase penalties for offenses like forcible touching. Two years ago, State Senator Diane Savino proposed that offenders should face tougher penalties, such as up to seven years behind bars.
However, banning offenders from the subway system raises questions about civil liberties and access to transportation. Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Queens) told the Daily News that he conceptually supports the ban, "I just don’t want to see the conversation move towards fare evasion and other things where we see a lot of disparity in arrests."
"We support legislation that would ban serial sex offenders from the subway and we look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to implement it into law," the MTA said.
Reports of subway sex crimes has been increasing year on year as the NYPD and MTA have encouraged victims to speak up. If you see or experience sexual misconduct in the subway, you can report it to the MTA and police on this website. There's also a place for you to upload photos and/or video.