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Spouses and the children of any victim who has suffered physical injury as the result of a crime would be compensated by the state for counseling costs under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Pataki.

Among other things, the legislation provides that the victim of a sex offense would be presumed to have suffered physical injury. That would allow immediate family members in sex crimes cases and the victims to have their counseling costs covered by the state Crime Victims Compensation Board.

Under previously existing state law, reimbursement for counseling costs had been available to victims who had suffered physical injury and to kidnapping and stalking victims whether or not they had suffered physical injury.

The legislation takes effect immediately.

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