Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children; penalty. (SB1072)

Introduced By

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children; penalty. Includes in the list of certain sex offenses that prohibit a person from being within 100 feet or residing within 500 feet of a school or certain other property frequented by children or from working on school property any offense similar to such sex offenses under the laws of any foreign country or political subdivision thereof, any federally recognized Native American tribe or band, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/06/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17101791D
01/06/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/12/2017Impact statement from VCSC (SB1072)
01/18/2017Committee substitute printed 17104415D-S1
01/18/2017Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/18/2017Rereferred to Finance
01/20/2017Impact statement from VCSC (SB1072S1)
01/23/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB1072S1)
01/31/2017Passed by indefinitely in Finance (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Comments

Mary D. Devoy writes:

Companion Bill to 2017's HB1482, all the reasons to oppose both Bills are listed there.

Mary D. Devoy writes:

SB1072 adds “includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof”

HB1485 adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar”

To:
1. §§ 18.2-370.2 – Loitering within 100ft of:
• A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2000
• A child daycare program (not defined) , if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006
• A locality operated playground, athletic field or facility, or gymnasium, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 “for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children that are not in his custody”

2. §§ 18.2-370.3 *– Residing within 500ft of:
• A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
• A child day center (as defined in § 63.2-100 ), if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
• The boundary line of any place he knows is a public park, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2008 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim when such park:
(i) Is owned and operated by a county, city or town
(ii) Shares a boundary line with a primary, secondary, or high school
(iii) Is regularly used for school activities
* The residence is allowed if the school, daycare or park is established subsequent to his conviction

3. §§ 18.2-370.4 – Prohibited from working (or volunteering) on school property:
• A primary, secondary or high school, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim
• A child day center, if the conviction is on or after July 1, 2006 and if the Offender is 3 or more years older than the victim

The number of current Registered Sex Offenders who would be affected by these 3 changes is unknown by the Patrons and by the Virginia State Police. It could be 5 or 5000 so the $50,000 Fiscal Impact Statements are meaningless.

Neither version (Senate or House) has a conviction date of July 1, 2017 which means the Virginia State Police will retroactively apply these 3 changes in law all the way back to convictions from 2000, 17 years ago. This will result in:
• Currently registered Virginians who are legally taking their children to and from daycare, school, school-sponsored events and sporting events today, would be committing a felony on July 1st and face arrest.
• Currently registered Virginians homes will become a felony violation on July 1st, facing arrest then eviction and possibly homelessness.

No intent to commit a crime is needed just their mere presence becomes an arbitrary crime, a felony.

Virginia should NOT be expanding the RSO Loitering and Residency Statutes we should be repealing them!

20 years worth of research has concluded these types of myth-based, feel-good laws do NOT make communities safer but only make reentry for former-offenders impossible.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals stated back on November 30, 2016 in their ruling on North Carolina’s Residency Restrictions “empirical evidence is needed to prove that without the restriction harm will occur”.

There is ZERO empirical evidence supporting Loitering Laws or Residency Laws.

Loitering Laws and Residency Laws are NOT administrative, they are punitive and for laws against those listed on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry to remain Constitutional, they must NOT be punitive.

There is also NO Federal requirement/law for Loitering or Residences of “Sex Offenders” though it has been claimed to one of the Patrons as a reason to push these changes.

SB1072 and HB1485 could be amended by completely removing §§ 18.2-370.2 AND §§ 18.2-370.3 , so that ONLY §§ 18.2-370.4 remains.

Otherwise Oppose SB1072 and HB1485!

Virginians deserve data-driven laws NOT proposals driven by fear, hate and vengeance.

It’s time for a Smarter Virginia Registry!

Mary D. Devoy writes:

When an expansion of Virginia’s Loitering Law was proposed with a Bill back in 2013-SB1152 (by my Senator) I shared an experience with every Virginia Legislator who was in office back then.

And knowing that 2017’s SB1072 expansion of not just our Loitering Law but also our Residency Law will be heard tomorrow morning in Senate Courts of Justice Committee I’m pulling out my 2013 opposition to expanding Virginia’s Loitering Law.

Here it is:

In 2011 when I visited my local CVS on the corner of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Lee Davis Rd to get a flu shot there was a 45+ minute wait, so instead of waiting inside the store I went outside for some fresh air.

Within the next 5 minutes Lee Davis High School let-out for the afternoon and students were walking across the street, boarding buses and loading into cars. At that moment I realized that I was “loitering” by definition because I was standing less than 100 ft. from the school property line and if I happened to be a Registered Sex Offender I could be charged with a Class 6 Felony for simply waiting for my turn to get a flu shot. It wouldn’t matter if there was any intent in my presence outside the store, all that needed to happen was a parent to recognize my face from the VSP Registry or for someone to complain that I was lurking and looking at the teens “creepily” and once it was confirmed I was a Virginia Registered Sex Offender I would be handcuffed and hauled off.

Past and present Virginia Legislators and Governors have criminalized the simple acts of day-to-day life under the guise of “if it saves one child” and under the falsehood of “a high recidivism rate for those listed on the VSP Registry”.

Restricting the movement, the residence and the employment locations of people who have past convictions does not reduce new crimes from occurring but in fact hinders their successful re-entry into society, limits their involvement and participation in their family and friends lives creating a high stress and paranoid environment for everyone.

I mapped-out all the businesses around my local high school within the “100ft loitering restriction” from the property line of the High School in addition to the CVS is a Laundromat, a Hair Salon, a Dry Cleaner, a Pizza shop, a Tanning Salon, a Veterinary Office, a Dentist and a Hearing Aid store so to list a few. An additional 30ft. away is a McDonalds, a Burger King and a convenience store.

Simply patronizing these local stores or waiting in their parking lot for an acquaintance or family member who is inside could become a Class 6 Felony simply based on the distance in the VA statute.

What if a citizen is forced to change a flat tire on the side of the road or they’ve broken down and are waiting for AAA to arrive for a tow? Should they abandon their vehicle in the middle of the street? Based on the penalty in the VA statute, my advice would be yes, run!!!

For a crime to occur there is supposed to be intent, but Virginia’s loitering and residence statutes ignore Mens rea and instead the burden falls upon the citizen.
I believe there was an easy fix. Currently in section C of § 18.2-370.2 it says, for the purpose of having any contact whatsoever with children that who are not in his custody. If similar wording was added to both sections A and B the current problem of citizens who are not committing a crime being wrongly charged would be solved and the true intent of the statute would be met. I asked all 140 Virginia Legislators to amend this portion of the statute back in 2013.

Guess what, not one Virginia Legislator did not in 2013, not in 2014, or 2015 or 2016.
But here we are in 2017 and there are 2 separate proposals SB1072-Deeds / HB1485-D.Bell/O’Quinn to expand even further upon the existing Loitering law and our Residency law. Nice!

SB1072-Deeds is on Monday January 16ths Virginia Senate Courts of Justice docket.
Will VA Legislators listen to reason? To facts? Or will hate and fear take the lead?

We’ll have to wait and see.