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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Action Item for Virginia Delegate Mark Berg’s Bill HB1526, Criminalizing 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds “Chat” AND for the Younger Ones it Will be a Felony!

 
HB1526 titled Children; use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses, penalty is patroned by “2nd session” Delegate Mark J. Berg , I have a nagging feeling this bill is not solely Dr. Berg’s creation but given to him from a more senior Virginia House GOP member (perhaps multiple members) for him to patron it because in odd years (2015, 2017, 2019, etc) House members are limited to a 15 bill maximum 

Summary of HB1526:
Provides that a person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is at least 13 years of age but younger than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit certain sexual acts is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if such person is at least three years older than the child. The bill also provides that a person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is younger than 13 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit certain sexual acts is guilty of a Class 5 felony. 

Full Text of HB1526: 
F. Any person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is at least 13 years of age but younger than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit any of the activities listed in subsection C if the person is at least three years older than the child is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

G. Any person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is younger than 13 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit any of the activities listed in subsection C is guilty of a Class 5 felony. 

OK, first let me say this. I would NOT oppose a law to criminalize 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 year olds from soliciting a child for sexual purposes. But I do NOT believe in ICAC units “Sex Sting” scams using entrapment methods against any citizen they should ALL be eliminated. 

Now onto the serious issues with Virginia Bill HB1515. 

Per section F of the bill:
  1. If a 13 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 16 year, 1 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  2. If a 13 year, 6 month old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 16 year, 7 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  3. If a 14 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 17 year, 1 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  4. If a 14 year, 6 month old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 17 year, 7 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
Per section G of the bill:
  1. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with another 12 year old per this bill the 12 year old who initiated the “sex talk” has committed a Felony.
  2. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 13 year old per this bill the older teen has committed a Felony.
  3. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 14 year old per this bill the older teen has committed a Felony.
  4. And so on……….
 

The “solicitation” for sexual purposes could be something as casual as “you want to do it” or “how about oral” and depending on the ages of the participants it could be a misdemeanor or a felony. 

Why would Dr. (Delegate) Berg want to criminalize juveniles for talking about sex with other juveniles?  

This bill is not about using force, threats or intimidation against anyone in a sexual encounter.  

This bill is not about proposing a juvenile become a prostitute or becomes a victim of human trafficking. 

This bill is not aimed at 30, 40, 50 or 60 year olds trolling for juveniles online. 

These are kids talking to kids, unless it’s an ICAC officer posing as a juvenile “baiting” a juvenile to start a conversation. 

Even juveniles have the right to freedom of speech just like the have the right to take photos of themselves and sharing those photos with whomever they chose (as long as it’s another juvenile). 

A Class 5 Felony in Virginia carries a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both. 

HB1526 is not about protecting children. 

HB1526 is meant to destroy the lives of children in Virginia under the guise of protecting them. Remember this extremely well written article on this very topic We Must Destroy the Children in Order to Save Them http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/07/11/we-must-destroy-the-children-in-order-to-save-them/  

And finally on top of all of these issues with HB1526 if convicted would these kids be labeled and listed on the Virginia State Police Sex offender Registry? 

Per § 9.1-902. anyone convicted of multiple combinations of §18.2-374.1:1 or §18.2-374.3 are required to register as a Sex Offender. 

This bill (HB1526) creates two new subsections, F and G. So I’m not sure if one or both newly created sections would require these juveniles to become public Sex Offenders, if section G does then they would definitely be classified as Violent and not as Non-Violent that I’m sure of. 

HB1526 is counterproductive and short sighted. 

Please Email or call your one Virginia Delegate and your one Virginia Senator to voteNoon HB15256 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy