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Saturday, December 26, 2015

HB177 Patroned by Delegate Dave Albo: Adds Crimes Against Nature to an “Animal” AND to a Child by a Parent, Grandparent, Sibling, Step-Parent OR Step-Grandparent as Registrable Offenses in Virginia…. Retroactively!

2016 Virginia General Assembly "Do Over":
Convictions from 2005, maybe even 1995 would NOW require public registration as a Sex Offender!
Update: 

The longer I contemplate this proposal the more I’m questioning it. 

In 2005 Delegate Albo co-patroned HB2564 which added step-parents and step-grandparents to the Crimes Against Nature statute, but HB2564 did NOT require public registration as a Violent Sex Offender, why?  

The VSP Sex Offender Registry is supposed to alert the public to people with sexual convictions against other people as an administrative act, not a punitive one. 

How does adding people who have sexually assaulted animals (Bestiality) fit into that reasoning? 

In my opinion it doesn’t and in fact HB177 bloats an already water-downed VSP Registry that the public can not currently decipher who has been swept up by one-size-fits-all legislation and those who actually pose a threat to our citizens.

How does prohibiting a person convicted of animal abuse from loitering near a school or a daycare make any sense? Or demanding they update their email address within 30 minutes or their employer information within 3 days or face a felony? How does having the VSP visit their home twice a year and take their photo every two years make us safer? It doesn’t. 

If Virginia wants to create a separate VSP Animal Abuser Registry then people convicted of this offense could be placed on that list. But they do not belong on the VSP Sex Offender Registry and they should not be mandated under threat of a new felony to comply with the ever changing list of restrictions and regulations for our RSO’s. 

I know some readers think the more people added to public Registries will finally creating the tipping point for the Courts to rule them unconstitutional, so why not pile on more crimes and more people. But that’s flawed thinking; more ruined lives for people who have already paid their court-ordered debt to society being subjected to suffer the same fate you’re facing is wrong. That approach is almost crueler than our States thinking towards RSO’s. 

I have previously opposed additional Virginia Registries and if an Animal Abuser Registry comes up yet again, I will most likely oppose it based on facts. Until the success and efficacy of the 20-year old VSP Sex Offender Registry is fully studied by a Special Taskforce/Commission for longer than 6 months…..NO additional crimes should be added to the VSP Registry, no new restrictions/mandates should be proposed for our RSO’s and nothing that carries a Felony charge should EVER be retroactively applied to an RSO or any other former-offender!

So……… it appears I may have to stand in opposition to a Bill that I’m sure the patron will coin “The Bestiality Bill”, but I will oppose the points that need to be removed or amended even if it’s difficult, because it’s the right thing to do. 

Mary Devoy
 

Original Post:

HB177 patroned by Delegate Dave Albo posted today. 

At the moment I am NOT calling this an “Action Item”, I want to follow any press, co-patrons or companion bills for this proposal plus and additional bills Delegate Albo files that may be part of a larger plan, first. 


But today I am sharing the 3 issues/concerns I immediately have with HB177 as currently written. 

Mary 

1. The summary for HB177 only mentions having sex with an animal but HB177 proposes changes to two areas of our “Crimes Against Nature statute”: 

Under section B. The offenses included under this subsection include any violation of, attempted violation of, or conspiracy to violate:
  • To subsection A of § 18.2-361
  • To subsection B of § 18.2-361  (having two offenses, a Class 5 Felony and a Class 3 Felony as either the primary or additional offense)
Under section E. "Sexually violent offense" means a violation of, attempted violation of, or conspiracy to violate:
Subsection A- is Crimes Against Nature (sex) with a brute animal…….. A disgusting act but does it really warrant lifetime registration and monitoring as a public Sex Offender? 

Subsection B- is Crimes Against Nature (sex) with a child (age 13 to 17 years old) by a parent, grandparent, sibling, step-parent or step-grandparent.

2. There is no start date of July 1, 2016 for HB177. 

Without a start date (per § 9.1-901.) anyone previously convicted of Section B, sub-section A (Crimes Against Nature of an animal) would be retroactivity mandated to register as a public Sex Offender by the Virginia State Police without ANY due process. I can NOT find the date when carnal knowledge of an animal became a crime in Virginia so I’m presuming it was a very long time ago which means….ANYONE convicted of this for the last 21 years  (July 1, 1995 –VSP Registry created) would be swept up by this proposal if it becomes law on July 1, 2016. If they failed to register, re-register or abide by any of the existing legal restrictions imposed upon Virginia’s RSO’s they would face a new felony charge no matter how long ago they were convicted of the animal abuse. 

How many Virginia’s have been convicted of this in the last 20 years? 100, 200 or 500? 

Without a start date anyone previously convicted of Section B, sub-section B (Crimes Against Nature by a parent, grandparent, sibling, step-parent or a step-grandparent) since it became a crime will become an RSO without ANY due process. If they failed to register, re-register or abide by any of the existing legal restrictions imposed upon Virginia’s RSO’s they would face a new felony charge. 

How many Virginia’s have been convicted of this statute? 100, 200, 500 or 1000? 

We don’t know! 

3. Finally, the fiscal impact for HB177. 

Fiscal Impact Statements are done for Legislation in Virginia when a proposal creates a felony which would require VA-DOC prison beds. Otherwise any other costs for Legislation are added to the “Budget Bill”. 

The cost (if this becomes law) would be borne by the Virginia State Police not VA-DOC, unless the RSO fails to register and is sentenced to incarceration. The VSP would have to do two residential visits per year, an employment visit every time a location is added or removed, the certified re-registration letters every year and taking any data updates form the RSO in-person (because there is no electronic system) again for how many Virginians? We don’t know and it wouldn’t be captured, discussed or approved by the Legislature during the 2016 session. This could be significant $$$$$$.