Assemblyman Jim Conte, R-Huntington Station, is urging parents to stay vigilant after a Level 3 sex offender, John Ferranti, was arrested and accused of stalking a local high school student last week.
Ferranti has been charged with fourth-degree stalking, endangering the welfare of a child, and failure to register as a sex offender for not notifying police of his change of address.
“As the father of two daughters, I was deeply dismayed to learn that a registered sex offender was prowling my neighborhood for his next victim,” Conte said. “I am thankful for the swift action taken by Second Precinct School Resource Officer Drew Fiorillo, Huntington Schools official Jarrett Stein and the female student for acting quickly in notifying the authorities. Their swift and courageous actions have made our streets safer and most likely prevented a serious crime from occurring.”
In 2007, Conte voted for A.7512-A which increased the penalty for failing to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registry Act from a class A misdemeanor to a class E felony upon the first offense and a class D felony upon the second offense.
“The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has a web site and e-mail alerts, which notify parents when a level 2 or 3 sex offender has movesd into their neighborhood,” Conte said. “Unfortunately, the web site is only as good as the information on it. That is why it was imperative to enact harsher penalties for sex offenders who fail to notify the authorities of a change of address.”
Conte is urging parents to sign up for electronic notification to find out when a sex offender has moved into their neighborhood. Alerts will be provided free of charge and are triggered when addresses for Level 2 and 3 sex offenders listed on the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) web site are changed on the state’s Sex Offender Registry.