Friday, April 21, 2017

Legislative Goal #10 for a Smarter Sex Offender Registry in Virginia – Discern Teen-to-Teen Image Creation and Sharing (Sexting) in VA Code from REAL Child Pornography

Another Goal for today is #10; Discern consensual Teen-to-Teen image creation and sharing (Sexting) in VA Code from REAL Child Pornography in Virginia. 

This issue has been previously studied by the Virginia State Crime Commission but they determined that Commonwealth Attorneys were using good discretion and should be allowed to continue charging felonies where they liked. 

Sadly, there have been too many cases of felony child pornography charges filed by C.A.’s against teenagers who did not use any force, threat, intimidation or extortion across the State and the highest age group is the 13-14 year olds (see above chart). Virginia Code must be amended to prevent these life destroying charges from ruining young lives in the Commonwealth. 

If you agree with this goal please ask your one Virginia Delegate and one Senator to Patron/Sponsor a Bill at the next Virginia General Assembly session in January 2018.  Our VA GA. sessions begin the second Wednesday of every January so you should make your request somewhere between May and early-November.  

You could make your request via email, via phone or even schedule a meeting with your Delegate and Senator to discuss the issues that concern you as their constituent and then propose a Bill or two at that meeting.  

If they decline to Patron/Sponsor the Bill, ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address it. If not let them know you’ll be in a touch again in a month or 2, then pick a different goal and ask them to sponsor that new proposal and if they decline, again ask them why 

If their concerns can be addressed, address it. 

If not (they may say I just don’t want to patron that), then select another goal and ask them again in 2+ months to sponsor that Bill, persistence pays off!  

Even if they don’t agree to be a Sponsor they will know:
  1. If they give you a legitimate reason not to Sponsor you will return with facts and data to alleviate those concerns.
  2. If they don’t give a legitimate reason not to Sponsor a Bill you are willing to point out empirical evidence should be the reason laws are proposed not emotion, myth and hate.
  3. That you will continue to return to them asking for Sponsorship as a constituent in their District.
  4. That you are a registered voter (hopefully) and these issues are very important to you and your family members (also voters, hopefully) and so every November they are up for reelection you and your family will be making your selection based on a candidates willingness to listen to reason and data.
You are their constituent, you are a tax-payer and hopefully a voter, they must listen to your concerns and proposals. If you aren’t sure how to address their reason/denial to sponsor a particular Bill that came from my Legislative Goals list, email me at with:
  1. The # of Goal you requested
  2. Which VA Legislator you asked
  3. The reason they gave you not to sponsor the Bill
If I can help you find a solution to deliver to your Delegate or Senator, I will. 

Mary Devoy

Goal #10:

Discern Teen-to-Teen image creation and sharing (Sexting) in VA Code from Real Child Pornography. 

Teenagers who willingly or knowingly send or exchange sexual or nude photos or videos with other teens do not pose a threat to society. If no threat, force, intimidation, extortion, mass on-line posting or emailing or account hacking has occurred between teenagers then no criminal charges should be filed. 

Consensual Teen Sexting has been and will be charged as a crime by Commonwealth’s Attorney across the Commonwealth until the Virginia Legislature takes the necessary steps. 

To Virginia’s Child Pornography Statutes § 18.2-374 of Production Distribution/Dissemination, Solicitation and Possession…….. 

1.    Add a 4- year Age-Gap allowance w/ a minimum age (a floor) of 12 or 13 years old.  This way age appropriate relationships don’t get swept up as a criminal act. If preferred a maximum age of 19 or 20 years old could be included for those who believe a 17 and 21 year old shouldn’t be in a relationship.
2.   Do NOT use the terms ‘minors’ or ‘juveniles’ in the age gap-allowance, otherwise the 18 and 19 year olds who are in age appropriate relationships will be convicted and labeled “Violent Sex Offenders” for life.
3.   Do NOT create a new misdemeanor offense; otherwise registration as a “Sex Offender” could be mandated if they move to one of the other 49 U.S. States and when that happens even if they return to the Commonwealth because of the Interstate Compact they’d be an RSO for life here too.