NY Legislature backs tougher lewdness penalties


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ALBANY — The New York Legislature has voted to increase penalties for committing acts of public lewdness in front of minors.

The bill, if signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would also raise charges against repeat offenders and take effect Nov. 1.

Assembly member Patricia Fahy, an Albany Democrat, says it resulted from incidents last September by someone repeatedly arrested and released, the last incident before two middle-school students.

The bill creates a new charge of first-degree public lewdness when someone 19 or older intentionally exposes intimate body parts in a lewd manner before anyone under 16.

It also applies to someone guilty of a similar offense within the previous year.

It's a higher-level misdemeanor than the current criminal charge, punishable by up to a year in jail or three years' probation.

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