Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

NY: Senator James Skoufis Champions Law Expanding Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims

Published: December 27, 2022
New York State Senator James Skoufis announces that a new law has been passed expanding justice for child sex abuse victims on Dec. 22, 2022 in New York State. (Image: Courtesy Office of James Skoufis)

On Dec. 22, New York State Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Assemblymember Chris Burdick announced that their bill — which addressed a loophole in the justice system concerning child sexual abuse — passed the Senate, was signed by the governor and is now law. 

Senate Bill S9447 expands the definition of sexual conduct against a child by clarifying that the insertion of a finger into a victim’s private parts should be prosecuted in the same manner as when a foreign object is inserted. 

A call to Skoufis’s office in 2020 by a Hudson Valley resident, whose daughter had been sexually assaulted, prompted Skoufis to take action.

According to a press release on the matter the child’s case against her abuser had faltered in the courts due to a loophole in the state’s penal code that did not consider insertion of a finger to be equivalent to insertion of a foreign object. Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember Burdick worked with the family to introduce the new legislation that would expand the crime of aggravated sexual abuse in the thrid degree.

“These disgraceful acts are a heartbreaking reality for some in our communities, and this necessary change to our penal code will give victims their day in court,” Senator Skoufis said, adding that, “As lawmakers, we must do everything within our power to protect the most vulnerable among us from harm. I am grateful to the family for coming forward and to Assemblyman Burdick for his partnership on this important issue.”


Burdick praised the Hudson Valley family for coming forward saying that “Last year, a constituent bravely came to me to recount the horrible sexual assault on his daughter years ago, who was eight years old at the time. The crime was undiscovered for many years, and the statute of limitations had run out. Furthermore, the crime in question was not explicitly defined in the crime of sexual conduct against a child in the third degree.” 

He went on to say that while the new law cannot change what happened it will hopefully provide some “closure and peace” for the victim of the assault and her family and provide more avenues for justice for any future victims. 

“My thanks to Senator Skoufis for his leadership in getting this bill passed in the Senate and to Governor Hochul for signing it into law,” Burdick added.  

Skoufis also co-sponsored a bill in 2019 — known as the Child Victims Act — which expanded the statutes of limitations for sex crimes against a minor creating a “lookback window” to allow justice for past and future survivors of child sexual abuse.