July 1, 2007
Several new laws are now on the books Sunday in Virginia, aimed to crack down on sex offenders and help keep you safe from them.
One new law prohibits anyone convicted of a violent sexual offense from entering the grounds of a school or child care center.
"As far as violent sex offenders having access to school grounds, I think it is a great idea for that to be limited, in fact i didn't realize it was not already limited." said Paula Fallon, a mother of two.
Even parents that are violent sex offenders must petition the court for special permission to be on school grounds.
There are also new measures aimed at protecting other vulnerable victims. Now, nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be notified of any registered sex offenders living nearby.Also, the homes and facilities must tell residents how to access and use the state's online sex offender registry.
"As we move through the challenges of preventing sexual predators from preying (on our young people), we see more and more loopholes and we've been trying to close those loopholes over the last several years," said Delegate David Toscano (D) of the 57th District.
Another new law allows the seizure and forfeiture of any equipment involved with child pornography.
"We think some of the new bills will help deter sex offenders from preying on our young people, and put people away who are serious threats to our young people and our citizens," said Toscano.
Delegate Rob Bell (R) introduced the bill. Bell said this is the bill he worked the hardest on should keep our kids safe from sex offenders.