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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why Creating a Misdemeanor Offense for Consensual Teen Sexting in Virginia is NOT an Option


In a meeting with a Virginia Legislator today they expressed their concern that Virginia juveniles are facing pornography charges but they favored creating a new misdemeanor crime instead of amending our current 4 Child Pornography Statutes.

That proposal is such a bad one for many reasons but the #1 reason is this. 

In the US anyone who has a sexual conviction in one State and then moves to another State could be required to Registered as a Sex Offender in that new State even if they didn’t in the original State. 

Let me explain. 

The Federal Adam Walsh Act and the Interstate Compact make it very clear that Registered Sex Offenders can not escape their requirement to register by moving to another State. 

If someone convicted of public urination in Florida or Alabama (which both requires registration as a Sex Offender) moves to Virginia even though Virginia doesn’t criminalize public urination as a registrable offense, they must continue to register while in Virginia and they are listed on the VSP Registry. 

It also goes the other way. 

If someone is convicted of a sexual crime let’s say in New Jersey that does NOT require registration as a Sex Offender but then moves to Virginia and the equivalent crime here DOES require registration we will place them on the VSP Registry. Now, if they are upset by this and they returned to New Jersey thinking they won’t be a Registered Sex Offender there because they weren’t originally, they’d be wrong. Because once they were placed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry they are now obligated to register anywhere they move to, but if they had just stayed put in NJ then they wouldn’t be required to register. 

So........If Virginia makes consensual Sexting a crime of any sort (misdemeanor or felony) even if it doesn’t require registration as a Sex Offender here if they ever move to another State which is highly probable if that State does require registration as a Sex Offender for consensual Sexting or perhaps that State even claims that our misdemeanor is the equivalent to their felony child pornography, then that young person becomes a Registered Sex Offender and even if they return to Virginia hoping to be exempt, they wouldn’t be they would now be a Registered Sex Offender in all 50 States and have to do the minimum time-frame required before they could petition for removal if that is even an option in that State. 
 

In 2016 19.28% of the Virginia Legislature Has Met with Sex Offender Registry Reform Advocate

On a side note:
I haven’t posted in September until today just because I needed a break. 

For 8 years I have gone full-throttle as a volunteer advocate and this September I’ve been working on some home projects and just decided not to do any posts unless there was a major RSO issue that needed to be addressed, which there wasn’t. I did post news articles in the In the News page AND on my Twitter page @MaryDofVA almost daily for those of you watching the lower right menu Twitter feed. 

I’ll be back to posting weekly if not daily in October.
 

OK. 

My husband and I met with another Virginia Senator today and we have one more Senator meeting scheduled next week and that will complete our Spring to Fall 2016 meeting requests 

Of the 14 requests to Virginia Delegates and Senators that I made, minus the two above:
  • 1 Delegate and 1 Senator Legislative Assistants advised me that because I was not a constituent the lawmaker would never meet w/ me. I’ve been trying to meet with both this Delegate and Senator for 8 years.
  • 1 Delegate and 2 Senator’s office completely ignored every request I made, never replying.
  • 1 Senator’s office advised me to schedule meeting during the 2017 session, which I will.
  • 1 Delegate and 1 Senator Legislative Assistants advised me that in the autumn the lawmakers would schedule a meeting with me. I explained to them that almost all of October and November would not be an option for us so I offered up numerous dates in August and September and the L.A.’s either turned down dates or let the clock run out without responding to me. I’ve been trying to meet with this Delegate for 8 years.