Sex Offender & Crimes Against Minors Registry; person may petition circuit court about registration. (SB590)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sex offenders; registration; penalty. Makes various amendments addressing the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry including what crimes require registration, the effect of a failure to register or reregister, the effect of providing false information or failing to provide registration information, and the procedures to petition for removal of a name from the Registry to ensure that Virginia law complies with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.). Read the Bill »


03/26/2008: Passed the General Assembly


01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 080244806
01/09/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/11/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB590)
01/14/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/28/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB590)
01/30/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2008Rereferred to Finance
01/31/2008Committee substitute printed 080264248-S1
01/31/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB590S1)
01/31/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB590S1)
02/05/2008Reported from Finance with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2008Committee substitute printed 080872248-S2
02/06/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB590S2)
02/07/2008Read second time
02/07/2008Committee substitute Courts of Justice rejected 080264248-S1
02/07/2008Reading of substitute waived
02/07/2008Committee substitute Finance agreed to 080872248-S2
02/07/2008Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB590S2
02/08/2008Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Communicated to House
02/13/2008Placed on Calendar
02/13/2008Read first time
02/13/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/14/2008Assigned Courts sub: Mental Health
02/14/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/29/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (17-Y 0-N)
03/03/2008Committee substitute printed 080887248-H1
03/04/2008Read second time
03/05/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB590H1)
03/05/2008Read third time
03/05/2008Committee substitute agreed to 080887248-H1
03/05/2008Amendments by Delegate Bell agreed to
03/05/2008Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendments SB590H1
03/05/2008Passed House with substitute with amendments (97-Y 0-N)
03/05/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (97-Y 0-N)
03/06/2008House substitute with amendments rejected by Senate (2-Y 38-N)
03/06/2008House insisted on substitute with amendments
03/06/2008House requested conference committee
03/06/2008Senate acceded to request (36-Y 0-N)
03/06/2008Conferees appointed by Senate
03/06/2008Senators: Howell, Edwards, Cuccinelli
03/06/2008Conferees appointed by House
03/06/2008Delegates: Bell, Griffith, Marsden
03/08/2008Conference substitute printed 080918248-S3
03/08/2008Conference report agreed to by House (85-Y 0-N)
03/08/2008VOTE: --- ADOPTION (85-Y 0-N)
03/08/2008Reading of conference report waived
03/08/2008Conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N)
03/10/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB590S3)
03/24/2008Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB590ER)
03/24/2008Signed by Speaker
03/26/2008Signed by President
03/27/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB590ER)
04/11/2008Governor's recommendation received by Senate


L. Lawless writes:

This bill, among other things, would reclassify "carnal knowledge of a minor" to a "violent sexual offense" with lifetime registration. This would place many 18-19 year old boys on LIFETIME registration with no way to ever get off the Sex Offender Registry. As "violent" offenders, these kids would also be subject to the school property ban. So, for having consensual sex with an underage, willing young lady, these boys would experience a lifetime of shame and humiliation along with being unable to take part in any activities that occur on any kind of school property. They couldn't go to church because most churches have daycare during the week. They couldn't attend community college or GED classes that are held in schools. They would be barred from ever attending AA or NA or many other therapeutic services since many are in schools or churches. This doesn't include the myriad of other activities that occur in those places (commuity meetings, performances, and other events).

What are our legislators trying to do? Jeeze people, this isn't RAPE or something!

L. Lawless writes:

There is an updated Fiscal Impact statement from DPB which puts the costs of this bill at $12.5 MILLION the first year and just under $9 MILLION for every year in the foreseeable future. Perhaps the legislature could, instead, use a fraction of this money to study "best practices" and current research in this area and come up with a better solution than classifying people by offense instead of risk.

L. Lawless writes:

In the never-ending saga of the bill that would be AWA, the 3rd version of this bill has reduced the VCSC fiscal impact to "cannot be determined". There is no DPB fiscal impact statement at this point. I am assuming an updated one will appear at some point.

The bill has now removed almost everything that would comply with AWA - the addition of new offenses to the registry, quarterly registration for lifetime registrants - the expensive stuff. What's left doesn't come close to meeting AWA requirements, so why does this bill exist?

If Virginia insists on complying with AWA it will cost tens of millions of dollars every year (as demonstrated by the earlier version of this bill which only included portions of the AWA requirements).

If Virginia doe NOT intend to comply, then why violate the due process rights of many offenders by arbitrarily extending registration periods from 10 to 15 or 25 years? Section 9.1-910 of the Code of Virginia (that section related to removal from the registry) was amended in 2007 to remove the ability to automatically be removed from the registry after 10 years. It currently requires that a petition cannot be filed less than 10 years from the date of original conviction OR any subsequent conviction for any felony or FTR. The court also considers total criminal history at a hearing which may include witnesses for both sides. This seems to be an adequate procedural safeguard to prevent people who are not compliant from getting off the registry.

Again, let's research this stuff rather than just retroactively and arbitrarily upping penalties. Let this bill die as it no longer serves any purpose (as if compliance with AWA was ever a valid purpose).

BJ Watson writes:

I am certain that the VA legislators are aware of the drastic cuts in federal money budgeted for these laws over the next two years. They are surely aware that there is no way to fully comply with what the SORNA guidelines propose without spending millions in valuable state resources that will never be compensated for by the federal government. If any changes in current laws would make the citizens of VA any safer and/or if there were any financial benefit to new laws, I might be in favor. However, these laws will cost VA millions in tax dollars and will do nothing to make this state any safer. Any new laws proposed should focus on the prevention of sex offenses against the majority of children who are offended by someone close to them and who is not already a registered offender. That would place VA at the top of the list of states that are truly doing something to protect children.

Julie writes:

BJ, I think you hit the target--PREVENTION. Punitive measures in general have proven of no benefit with any criminal activity, including those of a sexual offense nature. Education, family support, and counseling have, however, proven most helpful. It's time our tax payers' dollars are being spent on something that will truly help our children and our families as a whole. This is yet another punitive bill that continues to generate hysteria based on myths--let's get educated people and stop this madness!

L. Lawless writes:

Senate version of this bill included a provision which would allow offenders "under 21 and less than 5 years older" than the "victim" to petition to have the "violent sex offender" designation removed. This would have allowed consensual teen offenders to contiue to register as regular offenders (with the increased registration period of 15 years instead of the current 10).

House Criminal Law sub-committee (under pressure from Rob Bell) removed this section and reported the bill to the full committee. This puts 18-19 year olds who have sex with younger, willing teens on par with rapists and child molesters with lifetime registration and the school ban.

Reasoning involved getting votes in the next election and the possibility of bloggers saying they were going easy on sex offenders. I HOPE bloggers deal with this travesty. I can't imagine that most people would put a consensual teenage offender in the "violent sexual offender" category.

Penny writes:

I feel this is a step in the right direction. These kids all think its cool to sleep with these adults and parents have little that can be done, perhaps this will stop them. I am all for it. I am sick of wondering what man or woman is going to be sneaking into or out of a parents home after having sex with thier child, willing or not they need to wait until these children are of age. the children have enough other children to choose from.