The State Senate approved, 59-2, legislation prohibiting Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders from using the internet for social networking or for accessing pornographic sites involving sexual relation with minors for life.
Violations of the act will be classified as a Class D felony.
"Our law enforcement agencies need more effective tools to help protect the most vulnerable people in our community from being preyed upon by sex offenders," said Senator Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown). "This bill will ensure that sex offenders required to register for life can no longer use the internet to threaten the health and safety of our children."
Murphy had previously proposed legislation that would prohibit convicted level 2 and 3 sex offenders from using the internet for life rather than as a condition of parole.
Under the current law, a mandatory condition of probation or parole for an individual required to register as a sex offender is a prohibition on certain internet use. While on probation or parole, sex offenders over the age of eighteen are prohibited from using the internet to access pornographic material, social networking sites or communicate with individuals under eighteen years of age for the purpose of promoting sexual relations.