There are a lot of crazy bills being offered this year in the Virginia General Assembly, including pretty much everything by Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall (R-Manassas) for instance. But this bill, by Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta), really takes the cake. Basically, this bill takes an already-crazy and already-antiquated Virginia “crimes against nature” law and makes it even more draconian:
Requires registration when a person 18 years of age or older is convicted of engaging in consensual sexual intercourse with a child 15 years of age or older. Registration will also be required for someone convicted of the federal crime of video voyeurism. Portions of the crimes against nature statute are moved from the regular registry to become classified as sexually violent offenses. Juveniles over the age of 13 adjudicated delinquent of a registerable offense on or after July 1, 2005, must register; however, their information is not required to be published on the Internet. Under current law the court has discretion in requiring registration for such juveniles. Passport and immigration information is added to the registration information that an offender must provide. Photographs will be taken at the time of physical verification by the authorities rather than every two years.
As one commenter at Richmond Sunlight writes, “So, an 18 year old having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend has to register as a sex offender.” Another person writes, “What a totally preposterous bill; this proposed legislation would criminalize young people who may not be using the best judgement but are no where near meeting the standard for being labeled and registered as sex offenders, which, as I remember, has something to do with being a threat to the community.” And Waldo Jaquith adds, “So basically this bill is removing the leeway that a judge has. Right now it’s up to a judge to determine whether a minor needs to register as a sex offender. This bill says that, no, a judge has no say in it-it’s required, end of story. That doesn’t make much sense to me-we have judges for a reason. Is the current arrangement problematic in some way?” So far, by the way, the vote is 27-0 on Richmond Sunlight against this crazy bill. How can someone like Bill Stanley be a state Senator?