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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Virginia Bills SB1072- Creigh Deeds / HB1485-Dickie Bell/Israel O’Quinn Loitering Bans, What Does it Really Mean?


When an expansion of Virginia’s Loitering Law was proposed with a Bill back in 2013-SB1152 (by my Senator) I shared an experience with every Virginia Legislator who was in office back then.

And knowing that 2017’s SB1072 expansion of not just our Loitering Law but also our Residency Law will be heard tomorrow morning in Senate Courts of Justice Committee I’m pulling out my 2013 opposition to expanding Virginia’s Loitering Law.

Here it is:

In 2011 when I visited my local CVS on the corner of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Lee Davis Rd to get a flu shot there was a 45+ minute wait, so instead of waiting inside the store I went outside for some fresh air.

Within the next 5 minutes Lee Davis High School let-out for the afternoon and students were walking across the street, boarding buses and loading into cars. At that moment I realized that I was “loitering” by definition because I was standing less than 100 ft. from the school property line and if I happened to be a Registered Sex Offender I could be charged with a Class 6 Felony for simply waiting for my turn to get a flu shot. It wouldn’t matter if there was any intent in my presence outside the store, all that needed to happen was a parent to recognize my face from the VSP Registry or for someone to complain that I was lurking and looking at the teens “creepily” and once it was confirmed I was a Virginia Registered Sex Offender I would be handcuffed and hauled off.

Past and present Virginia Legislators and Governors have criminalized the simple acts of day-to-day life under the guise of “if it saves one child” and under the falsehood of “a high recidivism rate for those listed on the VSP Registry”.

Restricting the movement, the residence and the employment locations of people who have past convictions does not reduce new crimes from occurring but in fact hinders their successful re-entry into society, limits their involvement and participation in their family and friends lives creating a high stress and paranoid environment for everyone.

I mapped-out all the businesses around my local high school within the “100ft loitering restriction” from the property line of the High School in addition to the CVS is a Laundromat, a Hair Salon, a Dry Cleaner, a Pizza shop, a Tanning Salon, a Veterinary Office, a Dentist and a Hearing Aid store so to list a few. An additional 30ft. away is a McDonalds, a Burger King and a convenience store.

Simply patronizing these local stores or waiting in their parking lot for an acquaintance or family member who is inside could become a Class 6 Felony simply based on the distance in the VA statute

What if a citizen is forced to change a flat tire on the side of the road or they’ve broken down and are waiting for AAA to arrive for a tow? Should they abandon their vehicle in the middle of the street? Based on the penalty in the VA statute, my advice would be yes, run!!!

For a crime to occur there is supposed to be intent, but Virginia’s loitering and residency statutes ignore Mens rea and instead the burden falls upon the citizen.

I believe there was an easy fix. Currently in section C of § 18.2-370.2 it says, for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children that who are not in his custody. If similar wording was added to both sections A and B the current problem of citizens who are not committing a crime being wrongly charged would be solved and the true intent of the statute would be met. I asked all 140 Virginia Legislators to amend this portion of the statute back in 2013.

Guess what, not one Virginia Legislator did not in 2013, not in 2014, or 2015 or 2016.

But here we are in 2017 and there are 2 separate proposals SB1072-Deeds / HB1485-D.Bell/O’Quinn to expand even further upon the existing Loitering law and our Residency law. Nice!

SB1072-Deeds is on Monday January 16ths Virginia Senate Courts of Justice docket.

Will VA Legislators listen to reason? To facts? Or will hate and fear take the lead?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Mary Devoy
 

SB1278-McDougle Added to Tomorrows VA Senate Courts of Justice Committee Hearing after Docket Was Posted on Friday


SB1278 that only posted in LIS on 01/12/17 for the pubic to track has NOW been added to the Monday January 16, 2017 at 8AM Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee docket, http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+doc+S0310116 .

I realized this particular docket was available on the morning of Friday January 13th and SB1278 was NOT listed on it at that point.  

Since then……. either late in the day or into the evening on the 13th or sometime on Saturday the 14th or maybe early on Sunday the 15th SB1278 was added. 

There is no citizen email sign up to receive dockets or changes in VA Senate Committee meeting agendas. 

There is no mandatory 24 hour time-frame for changes in VA House or Senate Committee dockets for citizens to know about a change. 

And there is no red flag or version notation when a change occurs to a VA Senate Committee docket for citizens to know about the change. 

I just happen to know after 8 years of experience to keep checking Committee dockets/agendas ahead of meetings including on weekends. 

The Virginia General Assembly needs to be more transparent, more accessible and more systematic. 

Last minute and weekend changes to Virginia Committee dockets that have no alert systems in place give the appearance of cloak-and-dagger-politics, zero transparency and a closed-door for citizens to what is going on in our government. 

Mary Devoy

Friday, January 13, 2017

SB1278 is Patroned by a Virginia Senator Who Did NOT Read the Book Refining Child Pornography Law: Crime, Language, and Social Consequences by Carissa Byrne Hessick


 
Update:
There is a Companion Bill in the House its HB2039 http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB2039 Patroned by Jackson H. Miller. 

It posted in LIS on January 11th and at 8:21AM on 01/16 I received an email (because the VA House added email signup back in 2016, but the VA Senate doesn’t have it) that HB2039 is a last minute addition to the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee agenda http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/agendas/agendaItem.php?id=599&ses=171#  for the early afternoon of 01/16.  

Less than 5 hours from the Bill being placed on the Committee agenda and the Committee gathering to hear the Bill. 

That’s not transparent, that's not Open Government! 

Mary

 
Original Post:

Not only did I post about it, I emailed my recommendation to all the Virginia Legislators and like in the post I ended the email with this “Before one more Child Pornography law is proposed, tweaked or even considered in Virginia, every Legislator, the Governor and the AG should read this book”.   

Well it seems my Senator Ryan T. McDougle didn’t read the book, hasn’t  considered any of the research I’ve  shared over the last 9 GA sessions but instead has decided to sponsor the below Bill. Why? Because Camille Cooper of PROTECT and Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Rusty McGuire (who I ran into outside Senator McDougle's office) want to reverse the Virginia Criminal Sentencing’s recent change that slightly lowered the sentencing for “Possession” of Child Pornography. 

Now I’m worried that a “Companion Bill” is going to pop-up in the House. 

SB1278 -Discretionary sentencing guideline midpoints; possession of child pornography 

Bill Text as Introduced:
Raises the midpoint of the recommended sentencing range for possession of child pornography by (i) 100 percent in cases in which the defendant has no previous conviction of a violent felony offense; (ii) 200 percent in cases in which the defendant has previously been convicted of a violent felony offense punishable by a maximum punishment of less than 40 years; and (iii) 400 percent in cases in which the defendant has previously been convicted of a violent felony offense punishable by a maximum punishment of 40 years or more. The bill also requires a court that imposes a sentence that is less than the midpoint of the sentencing guidelines to review all child pornography possessed by the defendant. 

Fiscal Impact Statement (Cost to Implement and/or DOC Prison Bed/Space):
No Link yet, early estimate is $989,660 

You Can Cast Your Vote or Leave Public Comment on SB1278 @Richmond Sunlight https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2017/sb1278/
 

Oh, but the Bill text that you just read, has already been rewritten per Camille Cooper. But the public won’t know what those changes are until the Patron submits them as amendments to the Committee members seconds before the Bill is debated/discussed on the scheduled Committee docket.  

This is what I like to call “Decoy Text”.  

A Delegate or Senator submits a proposed Bill to LIS that they plan to or already have rewritten which could be a shadow of their original submission, but it has the same Bill #. By doing this no one who opposes their Bill can properly prepare an argument ahead of time, the opposition must come up with every possible issue and every proposed solution in less than 2 minutes while the Committee members are waiting for you to get your act together and yet the Patron has been prepared for days if not weeks or months. 

In fact Amendments of any scale (small or huge) do NOT have to be submitted to LIS ahead of time so that citizens monitoring the Bills online will know about the changes to contact their two Representatives in support or opposition of the changes. Then the changes are either approved by the Committee or not and it could be 8-24 hours before the new text is even online for citizens to know what was passed/voted on. Zero transparency! 

The $989,660 cost with the current Budget crisis would usually mean it doesn't have a chance but since the VCSC made the changes in sentencing in the last 12 months I don’t know if this cost really has to be budgeted-in, or not since we were spending almost that amount previously. 

I’ve had to deal with “Decoy Text” Bills before and trying to cover all the points without anytime to research or edit really stinks. You’re fumbling and stuttering and hours later you think of 10 more very important points you should have made but didn't. These tactics are meant to give the Patron the-edge while denying citizens the ability to participate in the Democratic process. 

I am still trying to decide if I will or won’t oppose SB1278 in Senate Courts of Justice Committee, if it passes out of there it's pretty much guaranteed to pass in House Courts of Justice. 
 
In the meantime anyone who opposes SB1278 (in it’s current state) please Email or call your one Virginia Delegate and your one Virginia Senator. 

Mary Davye Devoy

Action Item: Virginia Bill SB1072 (Senate Part of a Companion Set) is Scheduled to be Heard in Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday January 16th at 8:00AM

On Monday January 16, 2017 at 8AM the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee will meet and SB1072 is on the docket, http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+doc+S0310116 . This docket is exceedingly long, so there will be Bills on this agenda that get pushed-off until the next Courts of Justice meeting on January 18 or even the following meeting on the 23rd. But I will be in attendance on the change SB1072 is debated as Committee hearings are the only time the public can speak for or against a Bill. 

SB1072 is one of two similar Bills, one in each chamber (“Companion Bills”) that need to be significantly amended or “killed”. 

With “Companion Bills” the How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia process isn’t fully followed. If they aren’t “killed” in the first chamber when they flip to the opposite chamber the Committee just converts the opposite chambers version to match the one they previously passed out of the chamber, with no debate, discussion or public comment. 

This means the public can NOT wait for the second pass to show up at Committee to speak against the Bill or to send emails or make phone calls against them. Each Bill must get the full-court-press BEFORE it passes out of the first Committee hearing. 

This means anyone who opposes these 2 Bills needs to take action against the Senate version NOW, see their contact information at the bottom of this post.

Who has sponsored these Bills? 

SB1072  is patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds and the House version HB1485 is patroned by Delegates Dickie Bell and Israel O'Quinn.

What do these Bills Claim to Do? 

SB1072 adds “includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof”. Compared to HB1485 that adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar”  

     To:
  1. §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering w/in 100ft for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry)
  2. §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency Restrictions w/in 500ft. for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry)
  3. §§ 18.2-370.4 (Employment for some RSO’s on VSP Sex Offender Registry) 

Who Will be Affected by these Bills?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Reminder: Lee-Jackson Day Which is ONLY Observed in Virginia is One of the Two 4-Day VSP Holidays When RSO’s Can’t Register, Re-register or Update Changes in Data


Back on July 9, 2015 I posted about the Virginia State Police (VSP) website, VSP Locations hours of operation, VSP S.O. Helpline hours of operation and VSP observed holidays. 

The VSP website does not post VSP Location hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP Barracks doors or main desk do not post hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP website also does not post the phone number 804-674-2825 OR the hours of operation for the VSP Sex Offender Help Desk (Hotline). Despite my multiple requests directly to the VSP to add this crucial information to their website and locations. 

Leaving Virginia’s RSO’s to “guess” correctly or incorrectly under the threat of a felony. 

In Virginia because there is NO electronic system our RSO’s MUST register ANY change of information in-person (if they move or become homeless, if they change their name, if they lose or start a  job part-time or full-time, if they enroll or un-enroll in school part-time or full-time, if they add or delete a phone number or if they buy or sell a vehicle) within 3 days (not 3 business days) or within 30 minutes (if they add or delete an email address, an instant messenger identifier or a chat identifier) per Virginia law. 

There are 2 reoccurring 4-Day stretches where Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia are unable to comply with Virginia law they are: 

1. Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day        
(Friday Preceding the 3rd Monday in January and the 3rd Monday in January)
2. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday
(4th Thursday and Friday in November) 

#1 is this Friday and next Monday! 

Lee–Jackson Day is a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S., for the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.[1] The original holiday, created in 1889, celebrated Lee's birthday. Jackson's name was added to the holiday in 1904. 

In 1983, the holiday was merged with the new Federal holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as Lee-Jackson-King Day in Virginia. This merger was reversed in 2000. 

Lee–Jackson Day is currently observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is the third Monday in January. Typical events include a wreath-laying ceremony with military honors, a Civil War themed parade, symposia, and a gala ball.[2] State offices are closed for both holidays.[3] - Wikipedia 

If you have any Registry changes that include residence, mailing address, employment, unemployment, vehicle registration, phone numbers, school enrollment, un-enrollment, email addresses or online identifiers  OR your re-registration letter and/or photograph has a due date of 01/13, 01/14, 01/15 or 01/16  (yes certified letters have due dates that include holidays and weekends) there will be no option for you to meet the requirement in Virginia law or your stated due-date deadline because of the 2 upcoming VSP observed holidays flanking this weekend. 

Be sure to double check the due date on your certified letter and if it’s the 13th-16th get to a VSP Office/Location by Thursday or if your re-registration letter has no changes and doesn’t require a photograph get to a U.S. Post Office and mail it back by Wednesday the 11th! 

Mary Devoy

Monday, January 9, 2017

Action Item: Oppose Virginia Residency Restriction & Loitering Bills SB1072-Senator Creigh Deeds and HB1485-Delegates Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn


As I expected a Companion Bill to Delegate Dickie Bell’s HB1485 has posted in LIS SB1072 by Senator Creigh Deeds. 

Senator Deed’s version adds " includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof  to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working). 

Whereas Delegate Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn’s version adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residing) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working).

The Senate version does not have a start date of July 1, 2017 as Delegate Bell’s does which was completely unnecessary to begin with but neither of the Bills have a conviction date of July 1, 2017. So as written both versions would be applied retroactively by the Virginia State Police. 

Which would mean because of  the changes being proposed to 18.2-370.3 some Virginians who are currently residing in a registered location that is legal would be committing a felony as of July 1, 2017 and would need to move immediately or worse they might become homeless/transient.  

Over the last 8 years I have shared countless studies and reports with every Virginia Legislator that all conclude residency restrictions are nothing more than feel-good laws that instead of making our communities safer put citizens at risk of unregistered, unstable and /or transient RSO’s.  

It’s 2017 and we still have Virginia Legislators whom have chosen to ignore years of data that I’ve made sure they know about and instead they continue to promote baseless, fear-mongering, hate-driven and punitive laws. 

I am opposing both versions (House and Senate) of these Bills that contain anything to do with 18.2-370.2 and 18.2-370.3 .I do not oppose the proposal to change 18.2-370.4 , I understand and agree with ONLY that part of these two Bills. 

Please Email or call your one Virginia Delegate and your one Virginia Senator this Wednesday (January 11, 2017) the first day of session in Richmond, VA and ask them to Vote ‘No’ on both HB1485 and SB1072 as long as §§18.2-370.2  and §§ 18.2-370.3 remain in the Bill. Plus remind them ANY Virginia RSO Bill should have a conviction date of the upcoming July 1st otherwise we are proposing and passing laws that are being retroactively applied by the Virginia State Police and that is a violation of ex post facto (the Constitution).  

And if your Delegate is Dickie Bell or Israel O'Quinn and your Senator is Creigh Deeds ask them to remove the loitering and residency portions to their Bills. 
Virginia deserves laws that are data-driven not fear and hate driven!

Thank you! 

Mary Devoy

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Per the 2017 Virginia State Police Report: Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Registry, Virginia’s Registry Had the Lowest Growth in 2016 than Any Other Year!



The 2017 Virginia State Police Report Monitoring of Sex Offenders Required to Comply with the Registry is Now Online, http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/By+Year/RD6262016/$file/RD626.pdf and I have added it to my VSP Report page.  

The annual VSP Report on the Monitoring of Virginia’s Sex Offenders is due every January 1st and has posted online as early as December in past years, the 2017 Report posted around 11PM on January 4th. 

For recent comparisons since I started this blog I posted about the 2016 Report on December 15, 2015,the 2015 Report  on December 18, 2014 and the 2014 Report on December 13, 2013 

In 2016 an average of 11 new RSO’s were added to the VSP Registry, if the VSP counted the missing 5 weeks for a total of 52 weeks from the 2016 VSP Report to the 2017 Report then instead of a total of 539 new RSO’s (per the VSP) in the last year it would be 594, still the slowest growth year for RSO’s in Virginia. 

The 2017 VSP Report data was NOT taken from December 1st as was done from 2008-2012, nor was it taken from November 24/25 as in 2014 and 2015. The 2017 Report data was pulled on October 15, 2016  like they did back in 2013 making a 12 month comparison from the 2016 Report very difficult because it’s 47 weeks NOT 52 weeks. This makes the growth of the VSP Registry appear to be slowing down much more than it really is to anyone who is just glancing at the last 2 years. 

Per the 2017 VSP Report:
  • In the past 12 months there were 23,101 verifications of home, work and school addresses, an increase from the 2016 Report of 22,746 verifications.
  • In the past 12 months there were 2,848 criminal investigations for failures-to-register (see the jurisdiction chart on page 7 of the report), a big increase from the 2016 Report of 2,341 criminal investigations. Of those 2,848 criminal investigations 475 resulted in convictions, a decrease from the 2016 convictions of 559.
  • The current Trooper/RSO ratio is 1:242; the desired ratio is 1:100.
  • As for VSP staffing an additional 57 Troopers would be needed to get to the desired 1:100 ratio, that’s 4 more being needed from a year ago. The Compliance Officer count is up two more than last year but still shows 4 vacancies.
So in summary the 2017 VSP Report is NOT a full 12 months when it comes to the RSO counts (late-November to mid-October) but everything else in the report is 12 month (mid-October to mid-October), not sure why they keep doing this. 

Per my 9 Year VSP Registry Growth Chart:
  • Virginia adds an average of 911 new RSO’s to the VSP Registry every year.
  • Virginia adds an average of 85 new RSO’s to the VSP Registry every month.
  • Virginia adds an average of 19 new RSO’s to the VSP Registry every week.
  • Virginia’s rate of growth for RSO’s is slowing down every year.
Slowing the growth of the VSP SO Registry is a good thing!
 
Mary Devoy

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 3, 2017 Marks the End of the 114th U.S. Congress, So All Pending Bills Die and the 115th Congress Begins


115th U.S. House
115th U.S. Senate

The U.S. Congress works in two-year legislative sessions tied to the elections.
 
The most recent session was the 114th Congress and it began on Jan 6, 2015. All bills (12,000+) not enacted by the end of the session on Jan 3, 2017 (today) die, and Congress will start over as the 115th . 

So I have just deleted all the GovTrack Widgets for the Bills from the 114th Congress that I’ve been monitoring on the right side of the Home page. 

I have left the categories/headers and as new Bills post for the 115th Congress that are related to this platform I will add them to the right side of the Home page so for a while the categories may just be lined up with no Bills listed. 

Plus I updated the Virginia Representatives in Washington, D.C. page. The Commonwealth of Virginia has 3 new Representatives in Congress out of the 11 seats, as of today. It appears that the three newly elected Representatives don’t have official (.gov) websites yet; I’ll add links to their sites on that page at a later time. 

Mary

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arbitrary Felonies: Virginia’s Loitering, Residency and Employment Laws that Only Apply to Registered Sex Offenders


A few days ago I posted for the first time about HB1485 and some of the many reasons I will be opposing it. 

HB1485 adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar” to §§ 18.2-370.2 , §§ 18.2-370.3 AND §§ 18.2-370.4 . So any out-of-state OR military convictions from 2000 (or later), 2006 (or later) or 2008 (or later) who are already listed on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry would now be retroactively required to abide by these three restrictions or face a Class 6 Felony. 

I oppose two (§§ 18.2-370.2  and §§ 18.2-370.3) of the three parts in HB1485 but I do not oppose the §§ 18.2-370.4 portion.

So for the last few days I’ve been reading and rereading these 3 VA statutes, picking out problems with the current verbiage, looking up court challenges/rulings across the U.S., deciding on the outline for my mass email to all the Virginia Delegates  / Senators and percolating on what my public statement to the House Courts of Justice Committee and if needed to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee will include.
 
For anyone who has never read these 3 Virginia Statutes I suggest you click on the 3 links and attempt to understand what you can and can not legally do if convicted under one of the specific statutes (crimes).  

You’ll find that not all sexual statutes apply and even some secondary convictions (“while in the commission of”) are needed, resulting in a confusing maze for Virginia’s RSO to know if they are prohibited from loitering at just schools or parks too. And as for intent to commit a crime, only Loitering at a playground, athletic field/facility or gymnasium includes contact with a child, with everything else the RSO’s mere existence is a Class 6 Felony. Even……..if the original conviction back in 2000 or 2006 was a misdemeanor! 

Here’s a quick run down of the 3 VA Statutes that 2017-HB1485 proposes to expand. 

§§ 18.2-370.2 – Loitering within 100ft of:
  • A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2000
  • A child daycare program (not defined) , if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006
  • A locality operated playground, athletic field or facility, or gymnasium, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 “for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody”
§§ 18.2-370.3 *Residing within 500ft of:
  • A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 AND if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
  • A child day center (as defined in § 63.2-100 ), if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 AND if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
  • The boundary line of any place he knows is a public park, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 AND if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim  when such park:
                        (i) Is owned and operated by a county, city or town
                        (ii) Shares a boundary line with a primary, secondary, or high school
                        (iii) Is regularly used for school activities

                * The residence is allowed if the school, daycare or park is established subsequent to his conviction

§§ 18.2-370.4 – Prohibited from working (or volunteering) on school property:
  • A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 AND if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
  • A child day center, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 AND if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim 
Clear as mud, isn’t it? 

Now I’ll be posting about HB1485 many more times over the next 4+ weeks with many facts and action items but I do want to remind all the readers here that back on May 20, 2016 I submitted a FOIA to the Virginia State Police asking how many RSO’s are obligated to abide by §§ 18.2-370.3-Residency Restrictions and we learned that the VSP who manages and monitors Virginia’s RSO’s, registers and re-registers them, opens all investigations for violations and maintains the online Virginia State Police Registry had no idea how many RSO’s currently must abide by Virginia Residency Restrictions but yet Delegate Dickie Bell is looking to expand it with 2017’s HB1485 which was a request from a VSP Investigator in his District. 

So………We (the VSP) have no idea how many people are obligated to abide by a baseless, fear-mongering law that reduces their housing options, has been ruled unconstitutional in other states and results in an arbitrary felony….all  for a public Registry that supposed to be Administrative, not punitive but we (the VSP) want to expand it to include out-of-state and military convictions going all the way back to 2000. 

Both Virginia’s Loitering Law and Residency Law should be repealed, NOT expanded and I hope readers will take action against this hateful, ignorant and punitive Bill at the upcoming session. I won’t just be opposing a Delegates proposal, but the Virginia State Police who can’t even pull data on the current situation in the Commonwealth whose employee is pushing to sweep up even more people retroactively which could result in homelessness and/or them committing a felony next autumn when they are legally allowed to take their own children to school today.

Just remember what the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals stated back on November 30, 2016 in their ruling on North Carolinas Residency Restrictions “empirical evidence is needed to prove that without the restriction harm will occur”. 

There is ZERO evidence that loitering or residency restrictions against RSO’s make our communities any safer. 

Whether HB1485 affects you or your loved one (or not) the Commonwealth’s refusal to study our current Sex Offender Registry, laws and classification system while continuing to cast the net wider and wider every GA session should propel you to oppose HB1485. See December 23, 2016 Action Item for more details. 

Mary Davye Devoy

Friday, December 23, 2016

Action Item – Oppose Virginia HB1485 Patroned by Delegate Dickie Bell and Requested by a Virginia State Police Investigator


HB1485:             Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children and working on school property; penalty.

Patroned/Sponsored By-                 Virginia Delegate Richard P. Bell

A Misleading Bill Title as it does MUCH more than restrict working on school property! 

Read Full Text or Track Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website:

Track Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website: https://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2017/hb1485/ 

HB1485 adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar” to §§ 18.2-370.2 , §§ 18.2-370.3 AND §§ 18.2-370.4  

So any out-of-state OR military conviction from 2000 through today would be retroactively swept up not just in the Virginia prohibition/felony for “working on school property” BUT also for our “loitering” AND “residency restriction” laws. These people are already listed on the Virginia State Police Registry and they are abiding by all of the legal restrictions, regulations and mandates that Registered Sex Offenders convicted in Virginia must abide by, WHY would we now demand that their choice of a residence today is a felony and make them homeless or that any future residence they are considering be limited under the threat of a felony? 

If a conviction date of July 1, 2017 is NOT added to the 3 parts of HB1485 we’d need to know
  1. How many current VSP RSO's w/ out-of-state or military convictions would be retroactively included under §§ 18.2-370.2 ?
  2. How many current VSP RSO's w/ out-of-state or military convictions would be retroactively included under the new §§ 18.2-370.3 ?
  3. How many current VSP RSO's w/ out-of-state or military convictions would be retroactively included under the new §§ 18.2-370.4 ? 
Per the FOIA request image at the top of this post, the Virginia State Police have no idea how many current RSO’s that would be. REALLY? By the way, I did ask the patron Delegate Dickie Bell how many people would now be obligated to abide by the three different sections if HB1485 became law on July 1st as written, he didn’t know either. But yet he’s proposing a new felony for them, retroactively! Oh, and the idea for this Bill came from a Virginia State Police Investigator, yep!