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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Action Alert: HB523- Mandating Registration of Juveniles as a Public Sex Offender for a Minimum of 10 Years Passed the Virginia House and Now Moves onto the Virginia Senate

 

HB523 – Mandated Registration of juveniles as a Sex Offender for a minimum of 10 years passed the Virginia House today 85-12 (2 Delegates did not vote at all on the proposal).  
 
Past posts on HB523:
Here is the official tally: 

Edgar Coker Jr: Judge Orders Former Stafford Teen’s Name Removed from Sex Offender Registry, Vacates Sentence


Update: 

Exactly what I said in yesterday’s post! 
Louisa man falsely convicted of rape is exonerated with UVa legal team's help, February 11, 2014
Dierdre Enright, director of investigation for the Innocence Project Clinic, criticized the lower level courts, which she said “refused to acknowledge the merits” of the case despite the fact that the alleged victim had recanted.
“There are very few people who could have afforded to litigate this case for six years, which emphasizes the importance of law school clinics and organizations that represent clients for free,” Enright said in a news release from the law school.

Original Post:

For 7 years an innocent Virginia juvenile has languished on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry as a Violent Offender. No college would accept him because of the label and his parents had to move numerous times because of issues and threats from neighbors, all because of the VSP posting. 

On December 6, 2011 Edgar’s mother Cherri Dulaney spoke to the Virginia Crime Commission about her son Edgar Coker Jr.’s life on the Virginia Registry after a false accusation of rape. 

Only because the UVA Innocence Project stepped up to help Edgar did he finally receive justice 7 years later. 

Per the below article, yesterday the judge ruled that Edgar should be removed from the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. The VSP Posting may be coming down but a Google search will forever bring up his Sex Offender information for colleges, landlords and employers to find on independent and private websites.

This happy ending is just a dream for others who are falsely accused of sexual crimes in Virginia because without DNA evidence they can not get a second trial and the Innocence Project usually refuses to assist. Also because of Virginia’s archaic 21 Day to Recant Rule.

Once the lie had been discovered Virginia should have a process to grant an exoneration and removal from the Registry, but no it took a team of UVA attorneys 5 years with a claim of a bad defense to finally get justice for Edgar. Most Virginians can’t afford one cheap/satisfactory attorney for a 6 month period, let alone a 5 year challenge!

Congratulations to Edgar and his family! 
 
God Bless.
 
Mary 

Judge orders former Stafford teen’s name removed from sex offender registry, vacates sentence By Pamela Gould     February 10, 2014

Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush today ordered former Stafford County teen Edgar Coker’s name be removed from the state’s Sex Offender Registry.

She also vacated his 2007 convictions for rape and breaking and entering and gave Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen 60 days to decide whether he wants to retry the case.

Coker was 15 years old when he was accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home in Aquia Harbour and sexually assaulting a then-14-year-old girl.