Governor Cuomo Signs Jay-J’s Law
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting “Jay-J’s Law,” which allows tougher penalties for repeat child abuse offenders. “Assaulting a child is a heinous crime and should be met with the strictest of punishments,” Governor Cuomo said. “By enacting Jay-J’s Law we are taking a step forward in safeguarding children across New York State, and immediately ensuring that repeat offenders are met with heightened penalties that match the seriousness of their actions.”
The law will increase the look-back period from three years to ten years to elevate penalties for assault on children 11 years old or younger. Right now intentionally causing injuries to a child under 11 is punishable by up to a year in jail. If an offender has a prior conviction for the same crime within ten years, the punishment will now become a class E felony with penalty of up to four years in prison.
Jay-J’s Law is named after Jay-J Bolvin who was severely beaten by his father in 2011 leaving him with 11 fractured bones and epilepsy. Jay-J’s father had been previously convicted of third-degree assault for breaking the arm of another one of his sons in 2007. Because the previous conviction was more than three years old, the old look-back period allowed Jay-J’s father to plead guilty to a lesser charge for the assault on Jay-J.
Jay-J’s uncle Kevin Retzer lobbied for the law’s passage, “Jay-J’s Law is a common-sense bill to make sure violent abusers are punished for hurting children. It won’t change the suffering Jay-J went through – or the struggles he faces now – but Jay-J’s Law will help protect other children across New York State,” he said.