Saturday, February 1, 2014

Virginia’s WVEC Plans an Upcoming Broadcast of Sex Offender Registry Search Compared to a School Bus Stop Search

February 4, 2014 Update: 

Laws don't prevent sex offenders from living near school bus stops, February 3, 2014
WVEC showed the photos and names of offenders who have done NOTHING wrong or illegal; they are following the laws and are compliant. Shame on WVEC!


I received a response to my below email from WVEC asking me to participate in the upcoming Monday broadcast. 

This was my answer. 


I am always willing to be interviewed for the issues I advocate for but not for a story where you are targeting people who are just trying to live their lives or where you are trying to stir up additional hate and myth amongst parents and towards RSO's. 

You let me know when WVEC is planning a fact driven, educational piece and I will even drive down there. 


Mary Davye Devoy

Initial Email:  

Dear WVEC, 

I came across yesterday’s story about bus stops and Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia Beach. 

You ran a similar story on October 7, 2013 and I contacted you back on October 8 about running hype based/ fear-mongering stories on Virginia’s Registered Sex Offender, I gave you the extremely low national recidivism rates and the last 6 years of proposed legislation including bus stops and Registered Sex Offenders in the Commonwealth, obviously facts are unimportant to WVEC and sensationalism is the priority.  

Not only that, BUT your newest story tells WVEC viewers, “Monday night at 6pm on 13News Now, watch what happens as we plug 100 sex offender addresses into the Virginia Beach school bus stop finder 

I do hope WVEC will NOT be broadcasting the faces, names or addresses of 100 completely compliant Registered Sex Offenders on your 6 O’clock news this coming Monday night. 

Any misuse of the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry including harassment or intimidation of an offender is a misdemeanor. If WVEC’s Monday’s broadcast causes unneeded humiliation or lose of housing, employment or relationships because you targeted Virginians who are NOT bothering anyone and who are NOT breaking ANY current Virginia laws I will be sure to connect those who suffer from such a broadcast with civil rights legal representation. 

If you feel the need to show photos or names on your broadcast use the ones from the Wanted page and do a public service in locating the handful of non-compliant Registered Sex Offenders in the Commonwealth and leave those who are compliant and providing for themselves and their families alone. 

I will be sharing this email with Virginia Representatives from the Virginia Beach area and the Virginia State Police contact for the Sex Offender Registry so they are aware of your “teaser” to plug in 100 RSO’s addresses on Monday’s broadcast. 

I want them to be aware that WVEC is recklessly using the information posted on the Registry when there hasn’t been an issue with any RSO at a school bus stop to prompt this upcoming story.

Fact: There has not been one case of a registered offender approaching or luring any children from a bus stop in Virginia.

Hysterical assumptions are what led angry parents to wrongfully identify and accuse a Bedford County, VA registered sex offender (October 2012) a man had been approaching children at a bus stop, attempting to lure them to his home. The Bedford police and the parents concluded that it must be a Registered Sex Offender so they went to the registry and picked a photo that came close. The man they selected had an alibi but he was still held without bond and charged with a felony for trespassing on school property, even though a bus stop is not school property. Days later the real perpetrator re-approached the bus stop and with the Registered Offender sitting in a jail cell, the authorities had NO choice but to conclude they had the wrong man. 

This is where faulty rationale (assumptions) about those listed on the Virginia Registry has led us. The State ONLY had a misidentified man with a prior sex offense and THAT was enough to deny him bond, to charge him with a crime that doesn’t apply to other citizens and to presume he was guilty. Imagine if the real perpetrator had gone into hiding, The innocent man would have been convicted of a new felony and imprisoned for many years all because of the assumption that he must be the one because he’s on the registry.

I understand “sex offenders” make for good television and sometimes the media even makes compliant RSO’s and their family members into targets with such programming. But with more than 20,350+ RSO’s in the Commonwealth and an additional 850 to 1,500 being added every year the go-to story of an RSO living near a school or a school bus stop will soon come to an end. Because there will be so many RSO’s due to the overly broad laws passed over the last 15 years labeling everyone “sex offender” that there won’t be any neighborhoods without at least one RSO. 

How about some stories on preventing sexual abuse from occurring in the first place or traffic challenges with students waiting for buses and walking to and from school those are actual risks. Unlike those who are listed on the Virginia Registry, who aren’t bothering anyone, who are legally compliant and are just trying to survive and provide for their families, yes RSO's have families, and pay taxes.

Mary Devoy