McAuliffe signs sex-offender legislation patroned by Bell

dickie bellGov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday signed House Bill 1485, patroned by Del. Dickie Bell, which amends the current code relating to offenders who have been convicted of sex crimes that prohibit them from being within a certain proximity to children.

Under current code, qualifying offenders are prohibited from loitering or residing within 100 feet of any premises defined as a school, child day program, playground, athletic field or facility, or gymnasium. They are also prohibited from working or engaging in ay volunteer activity on the property of a school or daycare center.

This legislation expands the list of qualifying offenses to include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is similar to such qualifying offense for any conviction after July 1, 2017.

“I am pleased that Governor McAuliffe has signed House Bill 1485 into law” said Delegate Bell. “This legislation was brought to me by a constituent who was frustrated by the fact that sex offenders who were convicted of certain crimes outside of Virginia were not held to the same loitering and residential requirements and restrictions as those who committed crimes in the Commonwealth. The General Assembly agreed with him and passed this legislation overwhelmingly. By enacting this legislation, we are making Virginia’s children safer. I thank the Governor for his support.”

This legislation applies to sex offenses involving minor victims including any nonconsensual or consensual sexual act with a minor, abduction of a minor, child pornography and obscenity offenses, and failure to register or reregister as a sex offender for any of the previously listed offenses.