Friday, June 30, 2017

2016 Virginia Crime Report

In 2016 the Virginia Crime Report for the prior year was online to view by June 3rd and in 2015 I found it by June 7th but this year for some reason it took until June 30th. 

Last 6 Years of Sex Crimes in Virginia At-a-Glance:
  • 2016-   Group A Offense  433,959 crimes of those 5,220 were forcible sex offenses, that’s 1.27%
  • 2015 -  Group A Offense  441,355 crimes of those  4,787 were forcible sex offenses, that’s  1.08%
  • 2014 -  Group A Offense 444,022 crimes of those 4,668 were forcible sex offenses, that’s  1.05%
  • 2013 -  Group A Offense 456,160 crimes of those  4,590 were forcible sex offenses, that’s  1.00%
  • 2012 -  Group A Offense 472,836 crimes of those  4,771 were forcible sex offenses, that’s   1.11%
  • 2011 -   Group A Offense 479,582 crimes of those  4,768 were forcible sex offenses, that’s  0.99%  

There were 5,529 victims of the 5,220 forcible sex offenses (up from 2015) reported by the contributing agencies; 86.09% of the victims were female. 
The breakdown of Group A Offenses totals 433,959 crimes (down from 2015) for:
  • Forcible Sex Offenses were 1.27% of all the offenses
  • Non-Forcible Sex Offenses were 0.39% of all the offenses
  • Pornography* was 0.299% of all the offenses
  • Prostitution was 1.105% of all the offenses
* - I could not determine if the Pornography category includes all or some of the variety of charges including Production, Distribution, Sale and Possession. I’m guessing all of the above but in reality Possession should be separate as no physical contact ever occurred with the possessor and the victim in the image. I also wonder what category a charge of on-line communication with a minor (usually a cop) and/or solicitation of a minor gets put into. -Mary

Victim by Age and Sex and the Offender by Age and Sex:
  • Male victims of Forcible Sex Offenses were 13.60% of offenses (down from 2015)
  • Female offenders were 5.13% of offenses (down from 2015)
Juvenile Arrests of Group A Offenses totaled 11,151 crimes (up from 2015).
Of this total:
·         34 Forcible Rape                         (up from 2015)
·         49 Forcible Sodomy                    (down from 2015)
·         15 Sexual Assault with an Object  (up from 2015)
·         79 Forcible Fondling                  (exactly the same from 2015)
·         9 Statutory Rape                         (exactly the same from 2015)
·         63 were Pornography/Obscene Material, 0 were Prostitution and 3 was Assisting/Promoting Prostitution, remember these are juveniles.

In the Group A Offense category Sexual Arrests for juveniles were 2.25% of total (down from 2015). 

There were 5,097 victims of the 4,787 forcible sex offenses (up from 2014) reported by the contributing agencies; 84.4% of the victims were female.  

The breakdown of Group A Offenses totals 441,355 crimes (down from 2014) for:
  • Forcible Sex Offenses were 1.15% of all the offenses
  • Non-Forcible Sex Offenses were 0.31% of all the offenses
  • Pornography* was 0.27% of all the offenses
  • Prostitution was 0.254% of all the offenses

Sunday, June 25, 2017

In Virginia July 1st is When New Laws Go into Effect……So What Laws Have Changed for Virginia’s Current and Future Registered Sex Offenders in 2017?

Soon Virginia news outlets will start to write about the new laws that take effect in Virginia this coming Saturday, July 1st.  

The Virginia Division of Legislative Services does publish a summary of new laws following the end of session for the VA Legislators to have on hand called In Due Course. I thought about publishing this post back on 06/17/17 but the VDLS summary was not yet online, now it is. 

Media outlets usually pick the most controversial new laws or the widest-net ones to write about, there is no way they can cover every-single new law. 

And since ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense and mens rea (criminal intent) isn’t a required factor in the commission of a crime, especially a sex crime or in a failure to register for RSO’s, I am going to repost my May 11th list of new laws for Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia in case anyone missed it the first time around. Also you can visit the 2017 General Assembly page to follow the history of the Bills I fought this year. 

Mary Devoy 
May 11, 2017 Re-Post:

The 2017 Virginia General Assembly Session began back on Wednesday January 11th , it  adjourned on Saturday February 25th and the reconvene session (AKA Veto Session) was held on Wednesday April 5, 2017. 

This morning I finally finalized the 2017 General Assembly Legislation page so that all the details on what Bills failed and what Bills passed are in one location. That page will remain up until November and then it will be replaced with a new 2018 GA Legislation page in anticipation of the next VA GA session. 

So now that’s all over…………. what new laws begin on July 1, 2017 that will affect Virginias current (not just future) Registered Sex Offenders (RSO)? Is there anything significant that you need to know about or to avoid or are now required to do?  Yes there are 2 changes, only 1 is a new crime.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Highly Recommended Book. Shaming the Constitution: The Detrimental Results of Sexual Violent Predator Legislation by Michael L. Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo

Yesterday I received a new book that I had pre-ordered back in January and I hope read it tomorrow.

But in the meantime I realized I never posted about a book I finished a few months back and it was really great. Shaming the Constitution: The Detrimental Results of Sexual Violent Predator Legislation by Michael L. Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo.  

It was not just about Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators and the Constitution but also about Sex Offender Laws, Restrictions and Registries and the Constitution. 

With zero data, zero evidence and NOT one peer-review study “Sex Offenders” in the United States have been stripped of:
·         Due Process
·         Ex post facto
·         Double Jeopardy
·         The Privilege of Self Incrimination
·         Patient-Therapist Confidentiality
·         In some States the right to a jury trial when being tried for SVP Commitment
·         In some States the right not to take the stand to testify in a SVP Commitment trial 

……AND what would be considered inadmissible hearsay in any U.S. criminal trial is admissible during an SVP Commitment trial if it can be claimed as pointing towards future dangerousness. 

I was so pleased with the contents of this book I have placed it in the #5 spot of my Top 19 Books on Sex Offender issues, I highly recommend it. 

Mary Devoy

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Doesn’t the VA-DOC Track the Recidivism Rate for Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders Under Probation Anymore?

I skipped last year’s update of this VA-DOC chart (separated into 2 charts for easy viewing, below) and only realized it today. 

Then newest data (June 30, 2017) won’t be available until late-summer or early autumn and I’ll need to add a 9th column at that point. 

These VA-DOC reports have a lot of data (Recidivism Rates, # of Residential Programs, and Sex Offenders with GPS Units) but I only chart the information I find useful as an advocate for a Smarter Sex Offender laws. 

But one point that I’ve raised before and I’m going to raise it again is this……….. 

From 2009 to 2012 the VA-DOC tracked the recidivism (re-offense) rate for VA’s Registered Sex Offenders (RSO). 

Not only was the VA RSO rate of re-offense very low, but the sexual re-offense was extremely low and overall the RSO rates were dropping each year. 

After it disappeared from the annual report I filed a FOIA in 2015 looking for the RSO re-offense rate for 2013 and 2014 and I was advised by VA-DOC they did not track that information.
WHY? They had tracked it.


VDBHDS November 2016 Report - Study of Alternatives to Secure Confinement for Sexually Violent Predator: An Analysis of Cost-Effective Alternative Methods of Treatment and Monitoring


I’ve realized that I never posted this 2012 report$FILE/HD16.pdf on Virginia SVP Protocols for Initial Screening (for civil commitment) and I think it tells an interesting story leading up to the below November 2016 report. 
Original Post: 
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been checking for the 2016 Virginia Crime Report, but it has not been released yet. 
So I decided to look for some past Virginia Reports that I may have missed and one that I came across was from November 2016. 
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Study of Alternatives to Secure Confinement for Sexually Violent Predator:
An Analysis of Cost-Effective Alternative Methods of Treatment and Monitoring
It’s only 22 pages so won’t take long for those who are interested. 
I’m posting the link today because some of the blogs followers are treatment providers and some specialize in the Sexually Violent Predator category. 
Mary Devoy




Monday, June 19, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Sex Offender Social Media Ban - Packingham v. North Carolina

The 2nd US Supreme Court ruling that I’ve been waiting on for 2017 has been decided and it’s a great decision and the RIGHT decision!
But keep in mind, Face book is a private provider and they currently have a policy that bans ALL RSO’s. It doesn’t matter if the conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony or if it was 2 months ago or 20 years ago.

Facebook is legally allowed to prohibit service to who they select, just like Six Flags or YMCA’s ban ALL RSO’s.
So even with this U.S. Supreme Court decision remember in Virginia all nicknames and aliases plus all email addresses of RSO’s must be registered with the Virginia  State Police (or face a felony) and then the VSP-IT Department sends those names and addresses to Facebook and if Facebook finds a match they close the account. If that Facebook account was owned by a VA RSO who is under VA-DOC Probation supervision that RSO will face a Probation violation (a felony) if social media or Internet access was prohibited.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry Quietly Adds New Search Criteria in 2017 After July 2016 FOIA Inquiry

Almost 3 weeks ago my husbands new VSP Trooper stopped by for one of the two (per VA law) unannounced VSP Residency checks. His original VSP Trooper was promoted and we were assigned another Trooper instead of a VSP Compliance Officer. I personally believe he’s assigned Troopers instead of CO’s because of my public advocacy, but maybe not.

Anyway, I could tell the Trooper was holding back on asking me or rather telling me something so I invited him inside our house instead of the typical 2-minute simple chit-chat on the front porch. 

During the 10 maybe 15 minute conversation about my advocacy, legislative proposals and yearly battles/barriers with VSP Legislative Liaisons/Representatives at the VA GA sessions the Trooper made some key comments that I’ve decided he was instructed to say to me. He also seemed to have established a belief that nothing I’ve asked for over the years is reasonable or will ever be accomplished.  

This post is about one of the points I discussed with the Trooper.

Action Item! An Unexpected $1.9 Million for Clean up of Virginia State Police Malware Attack Should be Wake Call to Modernize VSP SO Registry and Registration Processes

This article is from Thursday and I hadn’t planned on posting it since I had twice tweeted it.


FYI, since publishing the article title has been changed to Tough choices for DMV - raise fees, shift money, or make cuts? 

So in summary because of the malware attack on the Virginia State Police website back in April, an unexpected $1.9 Million has been spent AND the VSP “network will have to be completely rebuilt”. 

I’ve made proposals over the last few years to both VSP Leadership and Virginia Legislators to not only modernize the VSP registration process for Virginia’s 22,000+ Registered Sex Offenders but how to cut half-a-million-dollars per year from the annual $8.2 Million cost of VSP Registry operation, registration, monitoring and management. 

Here are the proposals I’ve made to improve/streamline the VSP Registry:
Ø       Legislative Goal #2 - VA Code v. Hours of Operation for RSO’s to Comply are at Odds
Ø       Legislative Goal #3 - Implement a 4 Tier/Level Risk-Based Classification System
Ø       Legislative Goal #8 - Eliminate the USPS Certified letters for VSP Re-Registration and Implement a Repeating/Rotating Schedule
Ø       Legislative Goal #9 - Modernize the Virginia State Police Registration Process and Track/Share the Data that the VSP gathers every year 

Please contact your one Virginia Delegate and you one Senator THIS week and ask them to sponsor one or more of these proposals as legislation (a Bill) for the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session.

Thank you. 

Mary Davye Devoy

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Virginia June 13th Primary Results + Filed List of Candidates for Governor, Attorney General and 100 House Seats for November 7 2017 Election

It’s an election year in Virginia, for:
·        Governor
·        Lieutenant Governor
·        Attorney General
·        All 100 VA House seats
·        Many (but not all) Counties/Cities (see county/city charter for election years)
Ø      Commonwealth’s Attorney (Prosecutor)
Ø      City Council
Ø      Board of Supervisors
Ø      Sherriff
Ø      Commissioner of the Revenue
Ø      Treasurer 

But not for:
·        All 40 VA Senate seats
·        All 13 Federal U.S. Congressional seats
·        Both Federal U.S. Senate seats 

The legislation that Virginia’s 100 Delegates propose and vote on and that the Governor signs, amends or vetos plays a much larger part in your life than what is going on in Washington, D.C. 

Virginia’s House (every 2 years), Senate (every 4 years) and Governor (every 4 years) races are extremely important! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

May 2017, 50 States Per Capita for Registered Sex Offenders. Oregon Remains at #1, Illinois Jumped Up 14 Spots to #26, Ohio Plummeted 21 Spots to #47 and Virginia Sits at #23, Tied with Idaho.

As I posted yesterday the NCMEC May 2017 Map is online. 

I have now updated my Per Capita Chart that I originally created during the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session per the request of a Virginia Delegate. 

NCMEC gives the 100,000 per capita numbers but that really doesn’t mean much to most folks, they need something a bit more tangible. So I took the idea from my Virginia State Police Registry Growth chart where I calculate 1 out of every Adult Male in the State. 

Now, not every Registered Sex Offender is a Male, in Virginia approximately 5% of the VSP Registry is female. 

Also not every Registered Sex Offender is an adult; there are juveniles in many States who are Registered Sex Offenders. Plus there are States with Private Registries and NCMEC doesn’t note anywhere on their map if their RSO count includes juveniles or private registries. Also NCMEC claims their Registered Sex Offender count does NOT include incarcerated Registered Sex Offenders, but when you compare their count for Virginia and the Virginia State Polices count they are very close which means NCMEC”s count for VA IS including incarcerated RSO’s.  

So this Per Capita Chart (see below) for May 2017 is as good as the NCMEC data. 

Here are the most notable changes and similarities within the newest versus last Decembers per capita chart:

Monday, June 5, 2017

May 2017 U.S. Sex Offender Map from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is Now Online. They Say There are 861,837 Registered Sex Offenders in the 50 States and 5 U.S. Territories.

Note- I can email my full spreadsheet (May 2005 to May 2017) to anyone who is interested, it’s just too wide to post on this blog as an image and attachments can not be loaded onto a blog. 

06/06/17- The original spreadsheet/chart below was missing the column of State names, I have corrected that error. -Mary

Every May/June and then again in December I begin checking the NCMEC website for their latest "Sex Offender" count because the number they claim is the ONLY source for a total number of Registered Sex Offenders in the U.S.. The NCMEC RSO count is THE go-to for media, Politicians, Researchers and Victim’s Groups.  

Today I found their latest map for May 24, 2017: 

Once NCMEC posts the newest map their previous count disappears from the Internet and since they don’t archive their counts for the public I started a chart years back to chart their numbers from May 2005 to the present. 

So today I took their latest counts and I updated my spreadsheet (see below). 

Next I’ll update my per capita chart based on NCMEC’s counts and do a second post tomorrow.

There will always be an ebb-and-flow to the U.S. RSO population growth, those who move to another state, those who die, new crimes being implemented in States, Court rulings that add or remove people, Court petitions for removal being granted, etc.   

But as followers have noted over the years (here, here, here, here, here, here) I have serious doubts about NCMEC’s data being accurate. 

Why should we even care? 

Because NCMEC is the ONLY source of this data for reporters, researchers, politicians and victims groups and until the U.S. Department of Justice requires every States Attorney General to be the reporter of this information we are dependent on a non-profit. 

Here are a few examples of the issues I’ve noticed with NCMEC’s latest Map: 

  • Arizona did NOT add one additional RSO since December 2016.
  • California claims more than 12% of Americas RSO population but yet only 6 additional RSO’s were added from December 2016 to May 2017.
  • Illinois count was 23,921 last December but as of May 2017 NCMEC claims 32,546 bumping Illinois from 2.78% of Americas RSO population to 3.78% in just 5 months.
  • In contrast we have Ohio. Ohio’s count was 29,860 last December but as of May 2017 NCMEC claims 18,424, dropping Ohio from 3.47% of Americas RSO population to 2.14% in just 5 months. Where did 11,436 Ohio RSO’s go?
  • And Massachusetts has NOT added ONE additional RSO in 3 years according to NCMEC. In June 2014, December 2014, June 2015, December 2015, June 2016, December 2016 and now May 2017 NCMEC claims Massachusetts’s has exactly 11,399 RSO’s. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Downloading a Nightmare: When Autism, Child Pornography and the Courts Collide - By Anat Rubin

Downloading a Nightmare
When autism, child pornography and the courts collide.


The Raid 

Just two hours before the SWAT team surrounded their home on a quiet Midwestern suburban street, Joseph’s parents were sitting together at church, saying thanks for the immense progress their autistic son had recently made. After decades of struggling with a debilitating developmental disability, Joseph—we’re using his middle name to protect his privacy—was beginning to find his place in the world. At 25, he had a full-time job and was getting ready to move out on his own. 

The details of that Tuesday evening in 2012—where they sat in the empty church, the light through the stained glass windows—might have been lost in the usual blur of memories if not for the fact that they represent, for Joseph’s parents, the last moments of their life before. And everything for the family is now divided into before and after—two distinct worlds separated by armed men banging on the front door. 

“They showed up at about 8 o’clock and by 8:10 we were all in handcuffs,” said Joseph’s dad. “Camouflage, bulletproof vests, helmets, assaults pistols. It was a military operation—there’s no other way to describe it.”