Saturday, January 23, 2016

HB1356 Patroned by Delegate Peter Farrell Adds Fuel to the Hype of “Online Predator Danger” to All Our Children

Remember the article I posted a month and a half ago? 

Well I’m guessing Virginia Delegate Peter Farrell didn’t read it because he has filed HB1356-Impersonation of a minor; use of communications system; penalty. 

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:

Bill Text as Introduced:
Provides that any person 18 years of age or older who, while falsely representing himself to be a minor, uses a communications system to communicate with any person he knows or has reason to know is a minor is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Now, in its current state this proposal is Virginia's highest grade of misdemeanor and it is NOT a registrerable offense (VSP Sex Offender Registry).  

BUT if it DID becomes law this July 1st…… I bet you in a year or maybe three some Virginia Legislator out there will THEN propose to elevate it to a felony and perhaps even a Registrable offense. IF someone is impersonating a “real person”, taking their name and or photo then I could see that being a crime. But to lie about your age or even give a false name online, are we really going to make that a crime?  

How many Facebook accounts are created for animals and inanimate objects by a person who isn’t identified on that page? Sorry but the lovable Panda Bear at the local zoo isn’t actually posting on Facebook people! 

It’s already a crime in Virginia to solicit a minor online, why is this even needed? 

What about all the minors online who falsely represent their age by increasing it to say they are 18 years old. When they lie and some “poor sap” believes them the minor hasn’t broken the law but the “poor sap” has if he’s discussed sex or exchanged photographs with someone who claimed to be an adult. AND the minors false claim of age isn't an accepted defense for the "poor sap" in Virginia he's going to prison and will be a public Sex Offender for life! 

The number of new crimes that are proposed and even passed every year that are claimed “to protect the children” no matter how they are applied and who they actually sweep up is mind-boggling. But most citizens believe the hype and never question them, it's time to start questioning them Virginia. 

This Bill is 100% unnecessary! 

Mary Devoy