Ceretto passes legislation to protect children, increase penalties for repeat child abusersby jmaloni
Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, today passed legislation to protect children from abuse by increasing penalties for those who repeatedly assault them. The legislation requires that a sentence of assault in the first degree be handed down to a defendant who has previously been convicted of either assault of a child or attempted assault of a child. This ensures that people who repeatedly assault children cannot plead down to a lesser charge and are kept behind bars.
Ceretto noted the importance of this legislation in light of the tragedy involving North Tonawanda resident Jay Bolvin, who is living with the effects of being repeatedly abused.
"As the father of four children, the thought of a person who repeatedly assaults children pleading down their charge and getting out to abuse more children disgusts me," Ceretto said. "This critical legislation requiring a charge of assault in the first degree for repeat offenders will help keep these deranged individuals away from our children. As a parent and a legislator, I am proud to pass this important measure in honor of Jay Bolvin in the hopes that we can prevent future tragedies."
Bolvin was beaten as an infant by his father in 2011. His father was convicted of assault in the third degree in 2007, after breaking his other son's arm. After beating Jay, his father pled down to third degree assault and attempted second-degree assault, and was only sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison. As a result of the beating, Bolvin suffered 11 broken bones and was left with epilepsy.
Ceretto's camp said this is unjust, and that the legislation is aimed to deliver justice for Jay and children like him.