State Sen. MacDonald, Saratoga County DA Murphy tackle child abuse issues
PETER'S NEW YORK, May 27,
2009--Last November Roy MacDonald sacrificed his New York State
assembly seat in a gamble to win the State senate seat formerly
occupied by Republican kingpin Joseph Bruno. He won this gamble
handily, even though one of then-U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand's minions
fought against him. Now comfortably ensconced in his new position,
MacDonald said he tries to make the rounds of his new district whenever
he gets a chance. Last week he put in an
appearance in his own backyard, Saratoga Springs, stopping at the
Center for the Family, which provides services for children who are
victims or alleged victims of abuse.
Peter Duveen Photo
Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy, left, and State
Senator Roy MacDonald discuss child abuse issues at the Center for the
in Saratoga Springs, New York.
At the center, he addressed about 20
social service organization officials, where the main topic was what
nonprofits should do in lean times to economize
and keep funding streams open for crucial programs. As to the
child abuse, MacDonald said: "I don't have the answers; I just want to
be part of the solution."
"It's very comforting to know that we
have people in your position who are there for us," noted Loretta
Somerville, director of the Child Advocacy Center.
With MacDonald was Saratoga County
District Attorney Jim Murphy. A slender man with a disarming smile and
friendly demeanor that one doesn't normally associate with law
enforcement, Murphy told the group he would help out where he
could. "If you find a special pressing problem, call me," he said.
Murphy was later asked by Peter's New York some pointed
questions about whether innocent people were sometimes inadvertently
prosecuted for child abuse. He replied that the conviction rate for
child abuse offenders was about 95 percent. Each case, he said, is
carefully scrutinized by a number of county and state agencies, which
meet together to review the evidence. "We are all looking at this with
a skeptical eye," he said. "If we're going to take somebody's liberty
away, we need to be one hundred percent sure."
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