August 8, 2007
In March, William Beebe was found guilty of sexually assaulting Liz Seccuro at a party at UVA in 1984. The case made national headlines. And it's making headlines again.
Beebe is at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail now, but not for much longer. The Department of Corrections said he will be released on September 17, after serving just six months of an 18 month sentence.
"You feel like you're still unpacking your suitcase from the sentencing hearing and you get this sort of phone call, it's rather shocking," said Seccuro during a phone interview Wednesday evening.
Securro got a call Tuesday afternoon from Beebe's parole officer, who told her Beebe would be released from jail in the coming weeks.
"When a violent sex offender cuts a deal for 18 months, our expectation was that he would serve close to that," said Seccuro. "Sex offenders- six months, because of a technicality? I don't think that's right."
Because the crime happened years ago, prosecutors were aware Beebe could be eligible for parole under old laws. But both prosecutors and Seccuro expected Beebe would serve at least 12 months.
"I don't think that the passage of time or the admission of guilt should have anything to do with the way people are prosecuted," said Seccuro.
The Department of Corrections tells us Beebe's release date is not determined by a person, but a computer and based on the laws.
And while Seccuro says attorneys are looking into the release date, she adds there is little more she can do.
"Where I go from here is where I've always been, and that's about healing and moving forward and helping other survivors," said Seccuro. She also plans to write a book, that she hopes will be on store shelves as soon as early 2008.
According to documents, Beebe was given no special privileges, no time off for good behavior, and was treated like everyone else under the a law.
Beebe pleaded guilty to the sexual assault as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors had hoped he would help in the prosecution of others that may have been involved in the crime. As of now no one else has been arrested.