Today’s news:

Shining Light on Sex Offenders

A bill that would close loopholes that allow convicted sex offenders to escape notice in the community is on its way to becoming law. The legislation, written by state Sen. Tony Avella, has been passed by the Senate.

Avella came up with the legislation after it was reported that Joseph Denice, a convicted sex offender, was working with children at St. Mel’s School in Flushing, St. Kevin’s Church in Bayside and St. Luke’s in Whitestone.

Denice, a Whitestoner, escaped notice because he was hired before a risk determination hearing could be held. Denice received a split sentence of six months incarceration and five years probation after admitting that he abused a 12-year-old boy.

Avella’s bill would require that a risk level determination hearing be held within five days of a conviction. The determination must then be made within 20 days. A delay in making this determination can allow dangerous predators to go unnoticed.

Schools are careful to screen potential employees and volunteers to make sure sex offenders are kept away from children, but people like Denice can fall through the cracks. This legislation will reduce the chances of that happening.

Gangs No One Talks About

Although much has been written about the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Asian gangs have gone almost unnoticed for years even though they terrorize Flushing and other communities and are as violent as any city gang.

Last week, two Flushing men and two Bayside men were convicted of gang assault for beating a man to death in a Flushing karaoke club. Police say at least 14 thugs beat Junghwa Lee and another man with pipes, bats, hammers and fists, leaving them both unconscious. Lee never regained consciousness. Ten of the attackers were never caught. Although the charges were manslaughter and not murder, the attackers now face up to 25 years in prison.

We suspect gangs of Asian-American men are conducting business below the radar and terrorizing Asian businesses in Flushing. Although businesses may be reluctant to go to the police, the gangs must be identified and crushed.

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