In Hampton and Newport News, there are hundreds of registered sex offenders scattered throughout both cities — mainly in the southwestern area in Hampton and the downtown southeast area of Newport News.
Those people either work or reside in the area and their offenses range from aggravated sexual assault and battery to possession of child pornography and sexual intercourse with a minor.
According to the sex offender registry on the Virginia State Police website, there are approximately 511 sex offenders in Hampton and 456 in Newport News, or a combined 967 registered sex offenders.
Sixteen are currently wanted in Hampton and 22 sex offenders are wanted in Newport News.
Per state law, there are certain restrictions where sex offenders can live and while it may seem reasonable to group all sex offenders into one large group, not all offenders are prohibited from living near schools.
It depends on the severity person’s offense.
And there is no law in Virginia which prohibits sex offenders from living together.
Once convicted, sex offenders must re-register every 30 to 180 days depending on the offense and once three years have passed, they are eligible to appeal the number of times he or she can re-registers over the course of one year and in some cases, can re-register no more than once a year.
If sex offenders fail to register or re-register, the punishment can be up to 10 years in prison.
It’s not uncommon to see an age difference between couples but when it comes to minors and the law, it’s another story entirely.
The legal age to consent to sexual intercourse is 18 years old, but there are certain statues in place which allow young lovers to have sex and not be fined or worse, have their relationship be considered a misdemeanor or felony.
With this particular clause, a person who can legally consent to sexual intercourse cannot be in a relationship with someone where the age difference is three or more years.
However, there is an exemption for minors who engage in sexual intercourse: the close in age exemption or a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ clause. If the two parties are close in age, such as a 15-year-old and 17-year-old or a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old, they can legally have sexual intercourse.
For more information about sex offenders, visit the Virginia State Police website’s frequently asked questions page.