Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; name of offender's employer not to be published. (SB635)

Introduced By

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) with support from co-patron Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; name of offender's employer not to be published.  Provides that the name or company title of the employer of an offender included in the Registry shall not be made available on the database publicly available through the Internet. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/19/2010Presented and ordered printed 10104249D
01/19/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/22/2010Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/01/2010Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2010Read second time
02/03/2010Reading of amendment waived
02/03/2010Committee amendment agreed to
02/03/2010Engrossed by Senate as amended SB635E
02/03/2010Printed as engrossed 10104249D-E
02/04/2010Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2010Impact statement from DPB (SB635E)
02/16/2010Placed on Calendar
02/16/2010Read first time
02/16/2010Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
02/22/2010Assigned MPPS sub: #2
02/25/2010Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 0-N)
02/26/2010Tabled in Militia, Police and Public Safety


Dave writes:

It is a well-established fact that placing an offender's employer on the Internet registry is a great way to insure that the offender is either fired or simply never hired in the first place.

It's also a well-established fact that the ability to establish and maintain a stable social and support network, to find and hold suitable employment, and to maintain a stable place to live are critical factors in reducing the recidivism rate among offenders.

If your goal is to punish the offender endlessly because you hate sex offenders or you believe (incorrectly) that most people on the Registry have hurt a child, then don't support this bill.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to promote laws and policies that make you and your children safer, then you need to support SB635.

Kudos to Senator Marsden for showing a level of moral courage that is all too often absent in those who would call themselves our leaders.

Mary writes:

The Federal Adam Walsh Act/SORNA requirements mandate that the employer address must be publicly posted but NOT the employer/company name. So why would Virginia go beyond the AWA requirement?
Employers will be more willing to hire RSO's if their own company's name is not listed.
Currently having the employers name listed not only deters employers from hiring RSO's but actually has caused thousands of Virginia RSO's to loose established employment either because of a stranger or potential customer calling that employer and shaming them for hiring an RSO or from vengeful co-workers demanding a company get rid of an RSO because they aren't "comfortable" working in the same building.
Employment is a requirement of probation and an essential part of becoming a productive and contributing citizen of our Commonwealth. Without employment, housing is imposssible.
The employers information will still gathered, confirmed and stored by the state, this is a postive bill and should be passed.

VA Men's Accountability Network writes:

This is a thoughtful, redemptive, worthwhile bill.

For more than a decade, retroactive laws in Virginia have redefined sentences ex post facto -- in effect creating a lifetime parole/probation system for hundreds who had already completed their sentences. With each passing year, the Virginia General Assembly has layered the terms of this extended parole/probation to such an extent that families, communities and employers of offenders are stigmatized as well.

When the names of Virginia companies began showing up next to sex offender names in Google searches, businesses were put at risk. Regardless of the degree of vetting a business performed, over and above the paucity of information and context provided by the sex offender registry, companies that made informed decisions to employ anyone who happened to be on the registry found their brand married to the term "sex offender." Or worse, "violent sex offender," a label retroactively applied to hundreds with no regard to the facts of individual cases.

Virginia legislation effectively applied the "social pariah" label to responsible businesses.

Real-world reality is that it's hard enough to keep a job these days when you're a good employee. It's nearly impossible when your employer must consider how its name gets disseminated alongside terms that cause emotional recoil from customers and colleagues.

Just as businesses are hurt by this -- and forced to make hard decisions that derail the redemptive path of offenders and place them back on the public dole -- so, too, are neighborhoods with homes for sale. Real estate deals wither when "violent sex offender" shows up in the Google search. But imagine the frustration of the homeowner, Realtor and home-buyer to discover that the "violent sex offender" a block away was actually convicted as a "non-violent sex offender," and was later declared by a court to have zero risk factors of re-offending and was ordered removed from the sex offender registry... but that both conditions were retroactively scuttled aside by new laws that had no relation to the facts, but were applied retroactively nonetheless.

Dot after dot on the sex offender map has this back-story. Business after business has been hurt by this practice. Community after community has been stigmatized inappropriately.

Bills like this separate the adults from the children, the statesmen from the politicians.

Senator Marsden shows a depth and nuance here that is much needed in Virginia legislation.

This bill warrants support.

It makes sense economically for the businesses of Virginia.

It makes sense spiritually for the men and women seeking a redemptive path -- the vast majority of those labeled "sex offender" who, statistically, have among the lowest recidivism rates of all offenders. (Data is available to support this: Those who re-offend are easily identifiable; the rest, the vast majority published on the Registry, do not fall into the same behaviors ever again.)

This bill just makes sense. How refreshing.

KA writes:

This is a great bill. My husband has limited opportunities because of the name of the company being on the website. I am very hopeful this will pass!!!