readers may remember back on June
3, 2016I posted an action item to amend Virginia’s
Child Pornography statutes so teens who consensually ‘Sext” do NOT get charged
with Producing, Possessing, Solicitation or Distributing Child Pornography by overzealous Commonwealth's Attorneys.
some interest amongst Virginia Legislators to work on such a proposal in 2017
or 2018 but their hesitation at the moment is stronger than their interest.
most proposals I’ve made over the years one of the first questions I’m asked by
Legislators is...What are they doing in the other states?
States have made ‘Sexting’ a misdemeanor instead of a felony and that’s NOT a
better solution. If there is no force, threat, intimidation, extortion or mass
emailing/posting online of the images then I don’t believe any criminal charges
should be filed. That’s why I believe an age-gap allowance like in Virginia’s Carnal Knowledge
statute will make sure only age-appropriate relationships are excluded from
prosecution for consensual Sexting. But I also don’t think 18, 19 and 20 year
old in age-appropriate relationships should face criminal charges either and we
need to include them in any Virginia Bill/proposal and that seems to be a
sticking point for many Virginia Legislators. They usually don't want to see a 16
year old convicted who is in a relationship with a 14 or 13 year old ...............but they
completely hesitate to protect any 18 or 19 year old who is in a relationship with a 16
or 17 year old, and they shouldn’t!
when I was 16 and 17 years old I was dating 18, 19, and 20 year olds there
isn’t anything wrong with that and those who attempt to spin similar
relationships into a perverse acts need to look within and determine why do they view a 16 and a 19 year old or a 17 and a 20 year old
dating, as predatory.
proposals have been made by experts in the juvenile field. Some suggest a 3-year
and some suggest a 4-year age gap being added to State Child Pornography
statutes and none of them suggest we stop at the age of 17 (juveniles) to
criminalize the 18, 19 or 20 year olds.
a few recent books on the topic:
·Sexting and Young People by Thomas Crofts , M. Lee , A. McGovern and S.
·Adolescent Sexual Behavior in the Digital Age: Considerations for
Clinicians, Legal Professionals and Educators by Fabian Saleh, Albert
Grudzinskas and Abigail Judge
·Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent (Feminist Media Studies) by Amy
·Sexting and Cyberbullying: Defining the Line for Digitally Empowered
·Refining Child Pornography Law: Crime, Language, and Social
(Law, Meaning, and Violence) by Carissa Byrne Hessick
do the other 49 States do when it comes to consensual teen Sexting?
Virginia Legislator did ask me this recently so as I’ve done with many other
issues..... I went looking for the requested data….and I quickly found, no one had a
complete or current list/chart for all 50 States. So as I have done many times before I decided to compile the data that's out there into one
chart. The most important information
I was looking for ‘age-gaps’ turned out to be non-existent. I don’t know if
this means States are NOT using age-gaps OR if the data I was able to locate just doesn’t
Below is a 50 State Teen Sexting Chart, divided into 4 parts to fit on
this blog. I am not claiming it’s perfect and I know it’s not complete. If
anyone sees an error or has any updates for their State, please email me MaryDavyeDevoy@comcast.net
the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with two points I’ve been
making for 8 years here in Virginia. Our Register Sex Offender restrictions (loitering, residency, employment, date changes, etc) are 100% punitive AND when the Legislature passes new RSO laws every
year if the Legislature doesn't
include a start date so then the VSP applies them retroactively to existing RSO's that's a Constitutional violation!
The U.S. 6th
Circuit Court of Appeals Ruled that:
Michigan’s Sex Offender Restrictions ARE Punitive, not simply administrative
Michigan’s Retroactive Laws against Registered Sex
Offenders Passed by Legislature over the Years DO Violate Ex Post Facto
nothing about Justin Eugene Abney. I am not defending him, his past convictions
or his recent actions on his motorcycle in Louisa Co. It’s good that he’s been
identified so he can be held accountable for his dangerous/reckless driving.
But two parts
of your article are really bothering me.
1. What does his posting on the VSP Registry
have to do with being sought for a motorcycle incident? If you were able to
determine he had been convicted of an assault, robbery, drug, DUI or even murder
back in 2005, would you have felt the need to include that in your recent RTD article?
I am actually thinking you wouldn’t have. But because the VSP Registry is right
there w/ all the details, you thought what the heck ‘Sex Offender’ in my title
will catch more reader’s attention.
conviction in 2005 has nothing to do with the on-going issue in Louisa and including
it in your piece was pure sensationalism.
2. Why did you feel the need to post
his employers information?
know that only 6 States in the
entire U.S. post the
employer/company name and the full address of their RSO’s online and that Virginia is one of those
the Virginia DMV failed to prepare for the new law that passed through the Virginia
Legislature unanimously passed I might be looking at a late-fee, my husband
could be facing a felony and 13 other Virginians will be publicly humiliated or
unnecessarily enraged in the near future.
On March 1, 2016 Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed SB666-Senator Dick Blackinto law.
On March 11, 2016 Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed HB 1190-Delegates Tag Greason/Marcus Simoninto
new law prohibits the Virginia DMV from
issuing to Registered Sex Offenders special license plates relating to children
or children's programs or with revenues paid to funds for the benefit of
children or renewing the registration for a vehicle that has been issued such
The Virginia DMV knew 4 months before they became law on
July 1, 2016 of the 19,869
Children’s Charity Specialty License Plates in circulation 14 were owned or co-owned to
someone listed on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry.
On ThursdayJuly 14, 2016
I received my VA-DMV registration renewal for my 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee
which is due in August. My husband is a co-owner and he is a Non-Violent RSO. The DMV renewal
I received was standard so I went ahead and paid the fee mailing it off on
July 20th. I
expected one of two things to occur.
I’d get a letter in the mail
any day stating that my renewal was sent in error because my husband is
an RSO and it would explain whatSB666and HB 1190meant in regards
to my current Kid’s First Specialty Plate and that I’d be receiving a
standard-plate in the mail before the end of August unless I wanted to
select a new specialty-plate at a DMV location.
I’d receive a standard Virginia
license plate and be told it replaces my Kid’s First Specialty Plate on
September 1st because my Kid’s First Specialty Plate had been
revoked sinceSB666and HB 1190had become law on
July 1st AND there’d be
a refund for the difference in cost for a standard-plate and a
Three weeks passed since I
mailed off my VA-DMV renewal and payment, no letters, no replacement plate
and no phone calls.
On Friday August 12th I received a letter (it’s above)dated August 5th and post-marked August 9ththat included my
payment and my completed re-registration form. The letter said I must
select a new License Plate BUT it did not give ANY explanation why. There
is no notation of the new Virginia
law banning Registered Sex Offenders from owning a License Plate that
benefits a Children’s Charity. But
the letter does tell me that if I don’t select a new plate before the end
of August I will be responsible for
a $10 late fee.
VA-DMV had 4 months to figure out who the 14 license plates belonged to and
when their next re-registrations were due before the law took effect, but they
#4 and #14
of my 28 Legislative Fixes(or Goals) have now
been rolled together under Goal #4part one
and part two.
Goal #8 (Legislative Fixes) could/should also be
rolled into #4 too, but at this time I’m leaving it separate.
Needs a 3 or 4 Tier/Level Risk-Based Classification System for our
Registered Sex Offenders.
Virginia currently has a meaningless 2-Tiered
System, Non-Violent or Violent.
classification system would identify those who pose a real threat to society
instead of classifying them on a conviction which was mostly likely downgraded
with a plea agreement (more than 94% of criminal convictions in Virginia are settled
with a plea deal). So today a real-threat could be currently classified as
Non-Violent because they pled to a misdemeanor instead of the original felony
they were facing but a mental review of the same offender could conclude they
are in fact a high-risk to reoffend.
classification system would take some time and money initially but in the long
run it would save the Commonwealth millions of dollars because everyone would
not be treated the same, more resources would be directed toward the higher
risks whereas today they do not receive heightened monitoring. Other States
have made the switch, so it can be done.
would assist the public in deciphering between the Offenders, today they really
·Tier/Level 1 would be the lowest risk to
reoffend and could automatically be removed after 10 years of compliance
·Tier/Level 2 would be a moderate risk to
reoffend and could petition for removal after 15 or 20 years of compliance
·Tier/Level 3 would be the highest risk to
reoffend and would be registered for life
states have 4-8 Tiers/Levels; this could be a possibility for Virginia too AND some States classify those
who are and were civilly committed as Sexually Violent Predators (SVP’s) on
their Registry. Today Virginia
does not note who was previously civilly committed as an SVP, I think we
Virginia civilly commits our SVP’s based
on risk, but yet we classify our RSO’s on their conviction we should be
consistent and base everything on risk.
It’s Time to implement a 3-Level/Tier (or more) Risk-Based Classification in Virginia!
Part 2) Remove the Misdemeanor Offenses AND
Juveniles from the Public Sex Offender Registry.
states do not require misdemeanors to even register and other states have a
private registry for misdemeanors that is only accessible by law enforcement. A
misdemeanor is not supposed to follow someone for life, but with a public
registry it does. Inclusion of all offenses overburdens the system and dilutes
the registry to a point where society cannot differentiate between plausible
threat and a non threat.
Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA does NOT require public registration for
misdemeanor offenses nor do they require public registration forjuveniles.
below has been edited to protect the sender’s identity:
I would like to thank you for your webpage. It has
been very informative. Our son, who is 16, was placed on the Virginia Sex
Offender Registry in ________ and is still currently in DJJ, hoping to be home
by _________. My wife and I are completely devastated and worried about
My wife found your post with the link leading to the
Regulations.gov on June 9th and we were able to submit comments before the
deadline. Thank you for this.
I cannot believe he will pay by registering for the rest of
his life for something that happened a week after his 16th birthday. We
are here for him and always will be because the challenges he is facing
(college, career, social) in young adulthood and beyond are scary and seem
hopeless. I have heard the defeated and hopeless words come from him.
We keep encouraging trying to find bright spots but it is hard. He
really won’t feel the impact until he is released. He is doing what he is
supposed to do and taking advantage of what is offered there. Even the
staff and parole officers know he is a "fish out of water".
These young people do not deserve to pay for the rest of
there lives. We let drug dealers and persons that have caused fatal
accidents while under the influence out of jail with no registry. Why are
teenagers singled out for their lives? If they have paid their debt, than
they should be allowed to continue with growing up and become productive
members of society.
I would like to offer any help that I can. This is
such a new and complicated subject matter for us, we really don't know what to
Thank you again for the work that you are doing.
In Virginia registration as
a Sex Offender for a juvenile is supposed to be decided by the judge for ONLY
THREE crimes Rape,
and Object Sexual Penetration. Any Juvenile
mandated to register in Virginia
is classified as Violent (as opposed to Non-Violent) which makes them a ‘Lifer’
with no opportunity to ever be removed.
Virginia Delegates and Senators have been to know to claim while attempting to
increase juvenile registration mandates at the annual General Assembly session
that......... only the “worst-of-the-worst”
juveniles convicted of one of the “Big 3” crimes are given the label Sex Offender in
to look the 16 year old up expecting to find one of the “Big 3” crimes but instead he was convicted of:
July 13th I posted about 2 Virginia Senate seats
“Special Elections” this November for two current members of the Virginia House
that if they win will mean a Special Election in January 2017 to fill the two
vacant Virginia House seats. Also on July 13thI posted about all the Virginia
candidates running for US Congress which includes 3 current
State Legislators who if they are elected to Congress in November we’d have 3
other vacancies for a Special Election in
on August 2 two Virginia Delegates (both running for Virginia Senate) decided
to step-down from the Virginia House positions immediately to allow for
replacements to run for election in November instead of delaying it until January
2017. If I wasn’t following the Governor on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/GovernorVA/status/760569393491435525/photo/1, I would never have
heard about it as this news did not go out in a Governors email announcement.
two more State Special Elections will be held on November 8, 2016, for a total
candidates for these 2 District’s are yet to be determined but when they are
known I will post about them so those of you who live in these Districts can
learn about the candidates and go vote on November 8th!
anyone who follows me on Twitter
or regularly checks the In the News pageof this blog you already know what the last 6 days
in New York State has been all about. How quickly do you think Virginia will hop on