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2006 SESSION

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SB 559 Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; increases penalties for certain sex crimes.

Introduced by: Kenneth W. Stolle | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS ENACTED WITH GOVERNOR'S RECOMMENDATION: (all summaries)

Sex offenders; registration, civil commitment and mandatory minimums; penalties. Amends provisions related to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and the civil commitment of sexually violent predators and increases penalties for certain sex crimes. 

First offense child pornography possession and burglary with the intent to commit certain felony sex offenses will be new Registry offenses if committed after July 1, 2006.  The bill adds a conviction for criminal homicide in conjunction with a violation for child abuse as a registrable offense. The sex offender website will include persons convicted of all registrable sex offenses, not just persons convicted of violent sex offenses as under current law.   The bill modifies the registration of a person convicted of murdering a child; registration will be required if the victim is under 15 years of age and if the minor victim is 15 or older and the murder is related to a registrable sexual offense.  Persons convicted in a foreign country will be required to register.  Offenders will have three days to register or reregister after an address change rather than 10 and have to reregister for any employment change.  Sex offenders moving into the Commonwealth will have three days to register instead of 10, as will nonresident visitors, workers and college students who are subject to registration requirements.

The State Police, or the Department of Corrections if a person is under Department of Corrections control or on community supervision, will be required to physically verify or cause to be physically verified registration information within the first 30 days of the initial registration or change of address and semi-annually each year thereafter. 

Persons who have to register for murder of a minor will be required to reregister every 90 days, the same as a violent sex offender.  In addition, when a sex offender is convicted of failing to register, he will be required to reregister more frequently (violent sex offenders monthly instead of every 90 days and sex offenders 180 days instead of 12 months). The duration of registration for sex offenders who have been convicted of failing to register is extended as they will no longer be permitted to get off of the registry in 10 years from the date of registration, but instead the requirement will be 10 years from the date of their last conviction for failing to register.  In addition, murder of a minor will require lifetime registration.

Sex offenders convicted of failing to register will no longer be permitted to petition for relief for three years from the date of registration, but can petition five years from the date of their last conviction for failure to register.

The bill makes a second or subsequent conviction for failing to register as a sex offender a Class 6 felony and requires GPS monitoring and makes a second or subsequent conviction of failing to register as a violent sex offender or murderer a Class 5 felony and requires mandatory GPS monitoring. 

Procedures to be used by correctional institutions and juvenile facilities to obtain registration information from sex offenders under their custody are made more comprehensive, and faster timelines for transmission of information to the State Police are added.  An offender will be required to be photographed every two years and to submit to having a DNA sample taken (if not already taken).

Additional entities will be entitled to automatic notification of registration of sex offenders, including nursing homes and institutions of higher education.

Failure to register is added to the offenses for which conviction bars loitering within 100 feet of a school.  Persons convicted of such offenses after July 1, 2006, will also be prohibited from loitering within 100 feet of a child day program. Persons convicted of certain sex offenses will be prohibited from working or volunteering on the grounds of a school or day care center and will be prohibited from residing within 500 feet of a school or day care center.

Local school boards are required to ensure that schools within the division are registered to receive electronic notice of sex offenders within that school division and to develop and implement policies to provide information to parents regarding registration of sex offenders and the availability of information on the Registry.  Local school boards must also develop protocols governing the release of children to persons who are not their parent. The Virginia Council for Private Education must annually provide the State Police with the location and e-mail address, if available, of every accredited private school in the Commonwealth for purposes of registereing to receive electronic notification of sex offenders near the schools. Public and private two- and four-year institutions of higher education are required to electronically transmit information about applicants who have been accepted for admission at each institution to the State Police for comparison with the Virginia Criminal Information Network and National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry.  Guidelines will be created by the Department of State Police, in conjunction with the State Council of Higher Education and the Virginia Community College System, to ensure that the exchange of information is in compliance with the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.  The Department of Motor Vehicles is required to electronically transmit application information and change of address information for the same purpose.  The bill makes it a Class 4 felony to provide false information to obtain a driver's license with the intent to use it as proof of residency for sex offender registration purposes.

The bill also exempts the provisions of the Registry from the Freedom of Information Act and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practice Act and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.  The Department of Criminal Justice Services is required to advise criminal justice agencies regarding Registry requirements.

The bill also requires a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 25 years for the following offenses committed in the course of an abduction, burglary or aggravated malicious wounding where the offender is more than three years older than the victim: sexual intercourse with a child under 13 years of age, sodomy of a child under 13 years of age, and object sexual penetration of a child under 13 years of age. The bill also provides that for those offenses and for abduction with intent to defile and abduction of a child under 16 years of age for immoral purposes if the term of confinement is less than life imprisonment, the judge shall impose, in addition to any active sentence, a suspended sentence of no less than 40 years and that the suspended sentence shall be suspended (subject to revocation) for the remainder of the defendant's life. Where the conviction is for sexual intercourse, sodomy, or object sexual penetration involving a child under 13 years of age by an offender more than three years older than the victim, any probationary period must include at least three years of active supervision under a postrelease supervision program operated by the Department of Corrections with a minimum of three years of electronic GPS (Global Positioning System) monitoring. In any case where a defendant is convicted of abduction, rape, carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years of age, sodomy, object sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery, or indecent liberties, and some portion of the sentence is suspended, the period of suspension must be at least equal to the statutory maximum period for which the defendant might originally have been sentenced to be imprisoned and the defendant must be placed on probation for that period of suspension.

The bill adds to the list of offenses that qualify as sexually violent offenses for the purposes of civil commitment: abduction with intent to defile, abduction of a child under 16 years of age for the purpose of prostitution, carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years of age, and carnal knowledge of minors in custody of the court or state. The requirement that the complaining witness be under 13 years of age for aggravated sexual battery to qualify is removed. A felony conviction for conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit any of the qualified offenses is added as a qualifying offense. Incompetent defendants will be reviewed by the Commitment Review Committee. The bill provides that the Static-99 will be used to identify prisoners who will be forwarded to the Commitment Review Committee (CRC) for assessment and that if the Director of the Department of Corrections and the Commissioner of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services agree that no specific scientifically validated instrument exists to measure the risk assessment of a prisoner, the prisoner may be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist to determine if he should be forwarded to the CRC. The bill provides factors that a court may consider in deciding whether to release a person on conditional release, such as living arrangements, availability of supervision, and access to treatment. A person on conditional release will be subject to mandatory GPS monitoring. The bill also adds abduction with intent to extort money or for immoral purposes to the felonies for which a presentence report is required.


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