Sex Offender & Crimes Against Minors Registry; registration procedures for change of email address. (HB2255)

Introduced By

Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg)

Progress

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

Description

Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; registration procedures for change of email address. Provides that any person required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry shall reregister in person with the local law-enforcement agency where his residence is located within three days following any change to the electronic mail address information or any instant message, chat, or other Internet communication name or identity information that the person uses or intends to use, whether within or without the Commonwealth. Under current law, such person is required to reregister within 30 minutes of any change to the electronic mail address information or any instant message, chat, or other Internet communication name or identity information that the person uses or intends to use and has the option of reregistering in person or electronically, if electronic registration is available. Amends § 9.1-903, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

01/14/2019: Subcommittee Recommends Killing the Bill

History

DateAction
01/08/2019Committee
01/08/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19101863D
01/08/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/14/2019Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
01/14/2019Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (7-Y 1-N)

Comments

Mary D. Devoy writes:

January 30, 2018 Virginia court decision Baugh v. Commonwealth http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/0152172.pdf

On page 12 of the Court decision it references VA Code § 9.1-903. Registration procedures that an offender can update their email address “either in person or electronically”, so the 2011 Snyder decision from Michigan did not apply to Baugh so he had committed a felony by not using the electronic system.

The problem is no electronic system has EVER been established by the Virginia State Police (VSP) in 11 years since the law was passed and the VSP has fought me every time I’ve tried to get one smart implementation.

Current Virginia Code gives a Registered Sex Offender 30 minutes to register a new email address or delete an old email address or face a felony.

Because the Virginia State Police locations are NOT open 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year I have attempted to fix 2 parts of Virginia Code (including the “30 minutes”) 3 different times:
- 2011:HB1628- Amended in House Militia, Police and Safety, left to die in Appropriations.
- 2012:HB416- “Laid on the table” instead of voting by the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee of 8.
- 2016: SB243- Failed to Report 6-9, in Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

All three times the VSP Legislative Liaisons opposed the proposals for one reason or another, so the Bills failed.

Starting with the first Virginia State Police Sex Offender Brochure in 2016 it’s stated an RSO can file electronically w/ local law enforcement agency yet no local Virginia enforcement agency has such an electronic address/ system.

Since the 2018 Court ruling in Baugh v. Commonwealth the Virginia State Police Troopers started telling VSP Registered Sex Offenders that they could register email changes online. Not through an email address, not through a secure portal but via the non-secure comment box intended for the public to anonymously report non-compliant RSO’s.

The VSP comment box does not have a time or date stamp, it does not send a receipt to the submitter to prove they made the change and most importantly it would NOT hold up in court if an RSO needed as a defense because an SP-236 form must be filled out, signed and thumb printed. The SP-236 forms are not online they can only be accessed at a VSP location or local authority as they are legal size and carbon paper.

The VSP is trying to bend VA Code to fit around an antiquated system since this year’s court ruling.

It’s time for Virginia to pick one of these three fixes I've been making for years:

#1- Have the Virginia State Police create a secure (password protected) electronic system, available 365/24/7 that sends a receipt confirming the update/change has been received by the VSP and if this has been done there is no need for a VSP SP236 form to be filled out in-person by the RSO.
#2- Revise the statute to say ‘3 business days’ (removing 30 minutes) AND remove the words ‘or electronically’ until such a secure 24/7 system is finally implemented.
#3- Revise the statute to say ‘5 days’ (removing 30 minutes) to align with the VSP hours of operation AND remove the words ‘or electronically’ until such a secure 24/7 system is finally implemented.

This bill take one of these options and directs the VSP to finally take the much needed steps that they should have willfully taken years ago.

Mary D. Devoy writes:

To understand this issue we need to start with the January 30, 2018 Virginia court decision Baugh v. Commonwealth http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/0152172.pdf

On page 12 of the Court decision it references VA Code § 9.1-903. Registration procedures that an offender can update their email address “either in person or electronically”, so the 2011 Snyder decision from Michigan did not apply to Baugh so he had committed a felony by not using the electronic system.

The problem is no electronic system has EVER been established by the Virginia State Police in 11 years since the law was passed and the VSP has fought me every time I’ve tried to get one implemented.

Virginia Code gives a Registered Sex Offender 30 minutes to register a new email address or delete an old email address or face a felony. Because Virginia State Police locations are NOT open 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year I have attempted to fix 2 parts of Virginia Code (including the “30 minutes”) 3 times:

2011- HB1628- Amended in House Militia, Police and Safety, left to die in Appropriations.
2012- HB416- “Laid on the table” instead of voting by the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee of 8.
2016- SB243- Failed to Report 6-9, in Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

All three times the VSP Legislative Liaisons opposed these bills, so they failed.
Starting with the first Virginia State Police Sex Offender Brochure in 2016 it’s stated an RSO can file electronically w/ local law enforcement agency yet NO local Virginia enforcement agency has such an electronic address/ system. So the claim has been misleading and false.

Since the 2018 court ruling the Virginia State Police Troopers and Compliance Officers started telling VSP Registered Sex Offenders that they could register email changes online. Not through an email address, not through a secure portal but via the non-secure comment box intended for the public to anonymously report non-compliant RSO’s.

The VSP comment box does not have a time or date stamp, it does not send a receipt to the submitter to prove they made the change and most importantly it would NOT hold up in court if an RSO needed as a defense because an SP-236 form must be filled out, signed and thumb printed. The SP-236 forms are not online they can only be accessed at a VSP location or local authority as they are legal size and carbon paper.

The VSP has been trying to bend VA Code to fit around an antiquated system since the January 2018 court ruling knowing they never created an electronic system even though I tried to get them to 3 times.

2019 is finally the time for Virginia to pick one of these three fixes to make compliance actually obtainable:
#1-Have the Virginia State Police create a secure (password protected) electronic system, available 365/24/7 that sends a receipt confirming the update/change has been received by the VSP and if this has been done there is no need to a SP236 form to be filled out in-person by the RSO.
#2- Revise the statute to say ‘3 business days’ removing 30 minutes AND remove the words ‘or electronically’ until such a 24/7 system is finally implemented.
#3- Revise the statute to say ‘5 days’ removing 30 minutes to align with the VSP hours of operation AND remove the words ‘or electronically’ until such a 24/7 system is finally implemented.

This bill is extremely necessary.

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