Prostitution-related crimes; increases penalties if a minor is involved. (HB1516)

Introduced By

Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale) with support from co-patrons Del. James Edmunds (R-South Boston), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), and Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Prostitution-related crimes; minors; penalties. Increases to a Class 6 felony from a Class 1 misdemeanor the penalties for the following crimes if a minor is involved: (i) keeping, residing in, or visiting a bawdy place; (ii) aiding prostitution; and (iii) using vehicles to promote prostitution. The bill also adds felony violations of these offenses to (a) the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, (b) the definition of violent felony for the purposes of the sentencing guidelines, (c) the list of predicate criminal acts for street gangs, (d) the list of offenses that may constitute racketeering under the Virginia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, and (e) the offenses that may be investigated by a multi-jurisdiction grand jury. The bill also makes applicable to all persons, regardless of the gender of the victim, the crimes of (1) assisting or aiding in the abduction of or threatening to abduct a female under 16 years of age for the purpose of concubinage or prostitution and (2) placing or leaving one's wife in a bawdy place. Read the Bill »


03/01/2018: passed committee


01/18/2018Presented and ordered printed 18101527D
01/18/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2018Impact statement from VCSC (HB1516)
02/05/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB1516)
02/08/2018Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
02/09/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 0-N)
02/09/2018Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2018Committee substitute printed 18106978D-H1
02/10/2018Read first time
02/12/2018Read second time
02/12/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106978D-H1
02/12/2018Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1516H1
02/13/2018Read third time and passed House (99-Y 1-N)
02/13/2018VOTE: PASSAGE (99-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB1516H1)
02/14/2018Constitutional reading dispensed
02/14/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/15/2018Impact statement from VCSC (HB1516H1)
02/21/2018Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2018Committee substitute printed 18107550D-S1
02/21/2018Rereferred to Finance
02/26/2018Impact statement from VCSC (HB1516S1)
02/27/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB1516S1)
03/01/2018Reported from Finance with substitute (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/01/2018Committee substitute printed 18107756D-S2
03/02/2018Impact statement from VCSC (HB1516S2)
03/02/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2018Committee substitute rejected 18107550D-S1
03/05/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18107756D-S2
03/05/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB1516S2)
03/05/2018Read third time
03/05/2018Courts of Justice Committee substitute rejected 18107550D-S1
03/05/2018Reading of substitute waived
03/05/2018Finance Committee substitute agreed to 18107756D-S2
03/05/2018Passed by for the day
03/06/2018Passed by for the day
03/07/2018Passed by for the day
03/08/2018Passed by for the day
03/10/2018Failed to pass in House
03/10/2018No further action taken
03/10/2018Failed to pass


Mary D. Devoy writes:

This Bill
1. Increases 3 Class 1 misdemeanors to Class 6 felonies.
2. It adds these 3 convictions to the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry.

Per § 9.1-901. section C without a start date of July 1, 2018 this Bill will be applied retroactively to all past convictions going back as far as 20 years ago.
Those people who’ve served their court-order debt to society and have successfully reentered society by not committing a new crime are going to be denied any due process by being forced to register as a public Sex Offender for an old conviction. Because of the increase to a felony the VSP with make these people register for Life with no opportunity to petition for removal from the VSP Registry.

The Fiscal Impact statement estimates in 2016 and 2017 494 offenders were convicted for these offenses.

The FIS also claims $50,000 as the only cost for prison beds for future convictions.
What’s not being captured anywhere with this Bill is the cost of lifetime monitoring, managing and registering of those people who have ALREADY been convicted of these 3 crimes before this Bill becomes law.

We have no idea if it’s 50 or 5,000 people but based on the 2016/17 conviction rate of 494 it could be closer to the 5,000. Nowhere is the cost of retroactively sweeping up this group of people and mandating them to life on the VSP Registry being captured how has this been missed?

The $50,000 estimate is not even close.

There will be HUGE costs to the VSP who now have to go find these people, register them and then re-register them every 90 days for the rest of their lives plus visit their residence twice a year and update any changes in their data that occurs each year.

Then there is the costs for new failures-to-register for these folks who will not believe that their 10, 15 or 20-year-old conviction now requires a lifetime on the VSP Registry and they mis a registration date or an change in data because they’ve never had to do this before.

This Bill must have a start date of Jul 1, 2018 added to it.