State Senator Tom Garrett from Lynchburg came to show he's tough on pedophiles, too.
The governor's SUV heads off to his next appointment-- after a three-point parking lot turn.
photo by lisa provenceclick to view more photos
Nothing says "tough on crime" better than a jail, and on September 7, that was the setting for the photo-op signing of six bills that toughened penalties on child molesters, four of them carried by Delegate Rob Bell.
Local law enforcement gathered at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, where sunlight glinted off the razor wire, and attendees admired the Blue Ridge Mountain views– and sweat– while waiting for the Gov.
The most severe law imposes a mandatory minimum life sentence for offenders who rape, commit forcible sodomy, or perform object sexual penetration on a child under 13.
"Here's the message: It's one strike, and you're out in Virginia," Governor Bob McDonnell warns pedophiles.
The other bills McDonnell signed, inspired by Penn State's Jerry Sandusky, require employees of institutions of higher education, and athletic directors and coaches of private sports organizations to report suspected abuse of a child. "Grooming" a child with child porn is now a Class 6 felony, and it's illegal to require a person to provide child porn to join a group that shares such material.