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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Update & Action Item for SB1072-Deeds: If Virginia’s Trespassing Law Requires Posted Signage OR Prior Notification For It to Be a Crime, Then So Shouldn't Our RSO Loitering Law?

100 Feet = 33.33 Yards

There’s Good News and there’s Bad News on SB1072-Deeds which will determine the outcome of its Companion HB1485-D.Bell/Lingamfelter/O’Quinn. 

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knew on the evening of January 18th about the one amendment to SB1072 but now that I have the time I can post the whole 3 day long story. 

On Monday January 16th SB1072 was scheduled to be heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee (as I previously posted about) and it was. 

Senator Deeds told the Committee this Bill came at the request of the State Police and a new VSP Representative that I have never seen at the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions came forward to speak in favor of the Bill. 

VSP Lt. Keenon Hook told the Senate Committee this: 

“This Bill addresses what VA already sees as public policy Sex Offenders not having unrestricted access to children.  

This Bill also corrects what is NOW an incentive for Offenders who have their convictions in other States move to Virginia. 27 other States have restrictions and these Child Sex Offenders are able to relocate to VA to avoid those restrictions… creates an incentive for them to do so. So this Bill will correct that”. 

This is word-for-word, taken from my audio recording of the hearing. 

No amendments or substitutions were submitted by Senator Deeds. 

I then stood to oppose the Bill; I was the ONLY person who spoke in opposition. I began raising my concerns the same concerns I had already shared with every Virginia Delegate and Senator via email and via handout delivered to every Legislators office. The Chairman of the Committee Senator Obenshain stopped me twice, first to claim that residency restrictions as policy in VA have already been decided so that isn’t the issue to be debated that day and then he stopped me when I began the point about not conviction date being included so the VSP would apply it retroactively which would result in a n unknown number of current RSO’s residences becoming illegal as of July 1st. The Chairman directed Senator Deeds and Lt. Hook to work with me on a way to ensure that didn’t happen. Then SB1072 was “passed by for the day” to be taken up again at the next Senate Courts of Justice meeting, which was Wednesday January 18th. So I reinterred to Deeds and Hook of to the side of the room not just that issue with the Bill but the second problem of no notification to the RSO’s who’d be required to know about their change in the loitering law as of July 1st. 

Later that day via email Lt. Hook sent me an amended Residency restriction proposal that did not add a conviction date of July 1, 2017 but it grandfathered all residences established before July 1, 2017, which was better than nothing. So for the next 2 days I waited to get an answer on my loitering proposal. Neither Lt. Hook nor Senator Deeds responded to me. Luckily I had already scheduled an appointment w/ Deeds the week before for the morning of the 18th but as I expected he wasn’t available to meet so we discussed the second amendment with his Legislative Assistant and I asked her to notify me before the afternoon meeting started if the Senator would or wouldn’t offer the second amendment. I had to follow back up hours later to learn he would not be submitting the amendment so I was going to have to raise the second problem with the Bill to the Committee members when it was reheard during the afternoon docket something I had not been allowed to do on Monday because the Bill had been “passed by”. 
 

SB1560-Norment Proposes a New Crime for Those Who Produce Child Pornography and are in Possession of It to be an Additional Charge. But What About the Teens Who Consensually “Sext”?


February 4 Update: 

VA Attorneys can’t agree if Bill lowers or raises the punishment!
I don’t feel so bad about my original post now. –Mary 

Senate kills Norment child pornography bill after questions over effect, accusation over motive, February 4, 2017

January 26 Update:

Claims that SB1560 LOWERS the punishment!
I may have been wrong in my interpretation of this Bill. –Mary 

Senate majority leader under fire for bill that reduces punishment for child porn production, January 26, 2017
http://wric.com/2017/01/26/senate-majority-leader-under-fire-for-bill-that-reduces-punishment-for-child-porn-production/
 

Original Post:

Virginia Bill SB1560- Possession of child pornography where the accused has produced the child pornography sponsored/ Patroned by Thomas K. Norment, Jr. isn’t increasing the current sentencing for Possession OR for Production BUT it’s actually creating a new/additional crime for Prosecutors to stack onto Defendants who Produce. 

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:

Now, when it comes to the Production of Child Pornography you will RARELY see me oppose any Bill, same with anything to do with profiting from Child Pornography. Compared to Possession or even Distribution (as long as it’s not for financial gain) of CP, then I will carefully look at the proposal and consider all issues with it and if needed I will oppose it. 
 
To create a new criminal offense the first thing to consider is, is this really needed. Is there an action today that we don’t have covered under or statutes that allows for a crime to go unpunished?   

Well, looking at this proposal I’d say NO. 

Currently anyone who produces and possesses Child Pornography faces stiff punishments with mandatory minimum sentences in a State with no parole for BOTH crimes. No one is “falling through the cracks”, in fact in Virginia until this past July Possession of CP  had a harsher punishment than Production and if  2017’s SB1278 and HB2039 are successful and become law this coming July, we revert BACK to THAT! 

So…….SB1560 is JUST overkill with a way for Virginia’s Commonwealth Attorneys to stack even more charges onto Defendants and I expect the Fiscal Impact Statement (which is not available as of today) will be VERY high. 

But if THAT isn’t enough of a reason for this Bill to die, how about this………….. 

Consensual Teen “Sexting” can be charged as Child Pornography in Virginia because so far the Virginia Legislature has flat-out refused to add a 4-year age gap allowance to teenagers who are not forced, threatened, intimidated or extorted when they take and send images of themselves or of each other. They can both be under-age or one under 18 years old while the other is 18 or 19 years old both facing  felony Child Pornography statutes with a lifetime on the public Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry as a “Violent”.
 

HB2065-Mullin Proposes Adding “Surprise” to Virginia’s Sexual Battery Statute. Is this Because Donald Trump Says He Grabs Women by the “P___y”?


Virginia Bill HB2065-Sexual battery; surprise; penalty Sponsored/ Patroned by Michael P. Mullin (by request) which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (and Registrable as a Sex Offender for minimum of 15 years if done to a minor) proposes adding……may be accomplished by “surprise”. 

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:

Fiscal Impact Statement (Cost to Implement and/or DOC Prison Bed/Space):
The obligatory $50,000 

The only thing I can think is the impetus for this Bill is.....Donald Trump. 

When Trump said he "grabs women by the p____y" and then he denied that such an action would count as Sexual Assault or Sexual Battery meaning it would be a crime.

Well in Virginia if you grab a boob or pinch a butt EVEN over clothing that IS Sexual Battery, so I would think "grabbing a p____y" or on the flip-side grabbing a "d__k" would already be Sexual Battery. 

So I'm not sure if we really need to add "surprise" to this statute. 

Back in 2012 Senator Stuart had SB20 which proposed adding may be accomplished by “ruse” and “trickery” to our Rape statute and that failed, thankfully. 

The more nouns & verbs that we add to our criminal statutes to expand the options for victims and Prosecutors actually makes us less safe and our criminal justice system, less just. 

This Bill while timely is totally unnecessary. 

Mary Devoy