FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Delegate Dave Albo
September 24, 2012 Phone: (703) 451-3555
Springfield, VA – At bill signing ceremony last month in Richmond, Governor McDonnell signs HB 973 establishing life in prison for child rape.
Here are some disturbing facts:
- Half of all rapes in Virginia are of children below the age of 13. Of these children, 12% are age 6 and under.
- The median penalty for this crime is only 13 years.
- Within the last two years, there have 228 cases and only 10 people received life in prison.
Because of these horrific facts, Delegate Dave Albo Co-Authored HB 973 (2012 Session – Chief Patron Bell, Senate version SB 436 – Chief Patron Obenshain). This new law imposes a mandatory minimum life sentence for rape, forcible sodomy, or object sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13 when the offender was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense.
Under a current program, prior to their release from prison, defendants convicted of certain sex offenses are reviewed to see if they are incurable sexual predators. Those who qualify are determined to be mentally incompetent, and put in a secure facility for treatment. Most never get out. However, this method is incredibly expensive and will not necessarily capture everyone who has committed rape, forcible sodomy or object sexual penetration against a child. The solution is HB 973, which gives those offenders life in prison at the time of the original conviction.
Delegate Albo commented, “This bill is demonstrative of one of the main reasons I ran for the Virginia House of Delegates 20 years ago – to protect children from the very worst in society, child molesters. Bills such as this are difficult to pass because they cost so much money. The prison costs associated with incarcerating a person for life is expensive. But it’s worth every penny. Because of this law, there will be numerous children who will not become victims. Why? Child molesters cannot be cured. The majority of them re-commit a similar offense even after serving time in prison. Under this new law, the potential perpetrator will not be let out of prison after 13 years to re-commit. Thus, hundreds upon hundreds of children will never be attacked.”
For more information on the child rape law, please contact Delegate Dave Albo’s office in Springfield at (703) 451-3555 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.