Lawmaker Seeks Sex Abuse Background Checks For Mall Santas

Photo: Pixabay

ALBANY — A New York lawmaker wants to require sex abuse background checks for people looking to become mall Santas.

The legislation aims to better protect children by requiring employers to see if the applicants have been convicted of child sex abuse, State Sen. James Skoufis said.







Under the legislation, the checks would be required for people applying to work as Santa or the Easter Bunny, along with other characters that have significant contact with children.

“There’s a list, it’s time we check it twice,” Skoufis said in a statement Thursday.







A registered sex offender in Florida was arrested last year after he posted an advertisement to play Santa Claus.

“It’s shocking to me that this isn’t law already,” the Democrat said in a statement. “Let’s not waste another holiday season allowing our children to be put at risk.”













Kevin Watson, police chief for the town of Woodbury in Orange County, expressed support for the legislation and praised it as a “common-sense bill.”

“Anyone doing a job like this is in close proximity to children and should be subject to a criminal background check,” he said in a statement.

Under the proposal, employers can face a misdemeanor charge if they knowingly employ a sex offender in violation of the bill.

 

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WNY News Now mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

 

Have a news tip? Email newsdesk@WNYNewsNow.com, send us a message on Facebook, or Twitter.

WNY News Now encourages an open exchange of opinions and ideas on our stories, however, we ask everyone to follow our comment policy.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.