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NY excludes prison time from sex-abuse law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York has amended its penal law to exclude prison and jail time when calculating the 10-year period that elevates a repeated low-level sex offense into a felony.

The law effective Nov. 1 will exclude time locked up from the calculation whereby two or more misdemeanor offenses rise to "persistent sexual abuse" punishable by up to four years in prison.

The applicable crimes are misdemeanors of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the second or third degree, meaning sexual contact without the other person's consent, including children who by law cannot consent to sex.

Sponsors say time incarcerated shouldn't count since offenders then are removed from general society and unable to commit the crimes against innocent people.