While Pokémon Go quickly became an overnight sensation for children and adults alike, not everyone will be playing. Sex offenders registered in the state of New York are prohibited from playing Pokémon Go. New York became the first state to enforce a ban on sex offenders, following growing concerns that the smartphone-based game would lead players, especially children, towards the offenders’ homes.
The order signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibits sex offenders on parole from playing GPS-oriented games. Pokémon Go is, of course, the most recognizable name given its popularity across generations. According to the New York Daily News, the Governor’s order has led New York to prohibit sex offenders not only from playing GPS-oriented games but even from those games being downloaded or even accessed. The order is expected to impact several thousand registered sex offenders in the state of New York. Governor Cuomo’s focus is on protecting the State’s children. The Governor’s office released a statement justifying the order:
“Protecting New York’s children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don’t become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims,” Governor Cuomo said. “These actions will provide safeguards for the players of these augmented reality games and help take one more tool away from those seeking to do harm to our children.”
In addition to the Governor’s order, New York’s Department of Criminal Justice Services is expected to work closely with tech giants Apple and Google as well as Niantic, Inc., the software developer behind Pokémon Go. The focus is to “enhance user safety” and limit the accessibility of sensitive information.
Governor Cuomo’s order comes on the heels of a report compiled by New York state Senators Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane Savino. The Senators’ report showed an increased number of children coming into close proximity of sex offenders’ homes while playing the game. In fact, the report also indicated that children could sometimes even find themselves at registered offenders’ homes.
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Registering as a sex offender in the state of New York is already difficult enough. Now, Governor Cuomo’s new order can impact both your rights and your ability to continue living without further issue. As a registered sex offender, you should strive to become fully aware of how this order and New York’s mental hygiene law may impact your daily life. Stephan Jacob Siegel is presently the only attorney in Queens County specially certified to represent clients charged as persistent sexual offenders pursuant to article 10 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. The Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel will work to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of these changes and how they may impact your life. Schedule a consultation today with a New York criminal defense attorney by calling (718) 575-3900 or visit us online for more information.