ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Mario M. Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that prohibits police and other public officials in New York from disclosing the names of alleged rape victims.
The law was proposed after some news organizations identified the woman who said she was raped by William Kennedy Smith at the Kennedy family estate in Florida in May. Smith has denied wrongdoing.
"The release of such identifying information does not serve the interest of justice," Cuomo said. "Indeed, it does a gross disservice to both the victim and the public."
The law allows people whose identity has been disclosed and can prove they have been injured by the disclosure to seek civil penalties against the official who released the name and the official's employer. It provides no sanction against media organizations that reveal the name of a rape victim.