No ‘Smoothie’ re-entry for Beebe
A month after rape apologizer William Beebe left the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail after serving six months for a 1982 fraternity house sexual assault, he has settled in Chesterfield County just south of Richmond. Finding a place to live wasn't hard: he moved in with the friends who have stood by him from his arrest in January 2006 through multiple hearings, his guilty plea, and subsequent sentencing. But finding employment– a required condition of his probation– has proved more troublesome.
The Hook has learned that the 42-year-old, who worked as a real estate agent and massage therapist in Las Vegas before his arrest in January 2006, was hired by the Richmond Smoothie King franchise in late September but was fired almost immediately.
"He worked here about a week," says a manager at the store's Three Chopt Road location, who declined any further comment about Beebe's tenure or the store's experience with him.
The owner of the Richmond franchise, which has two locations– the other in Carytown– says he'd never heard of Beebe or the case, despite the heavy press coverage, and it wasn't until he received an email from an acquaintance with a link to a blog maintained by Beebe's victim, Liz Seccuro, that he discovered his newest employee's status as a convicted sex offender.
Seccuro declines comment on Beebe's firing, but on her blog, lizseccuro.blogspot.com, she and Richmond Smoothie King owner Ryan Taylor exchange a series of comments in which she points out that wherever Beebe is employed is public information that will be posted on the Virginia Sex Offenders online registry. At presstime, Beebe's status on that site was "unemployed."
Taylor says he has had no direct contact by phone or email with Seccuro, who was a 17-year-old UVA first year at the time of the assault, and that concern for his female employees and patrons led him to terminate Beebe's employment. He expresses frustration that his business has been connected to the case in any way.
Beebe did not return the Hook's call, but his attorney, Rhonda Quagliana, says that readjusting to life after jail has been difficult for him, particularly in the wake of his mother's late August death during the final weeks of his sentence. On August 24, Quagliana appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Beebe's behalf, asking Judge Edward Hogshire to grant her client a 10-day "furlough," an unsupervised release, so that he could tend to his mother's affairs in Florida. Worrell objected, claiming such a release would amount to "special treatment," and Hogshire agreed, denying the furlough request.
Coping with his mother's death and the loss of his food-service job are not the only post-release difficulties Beebe is facing. In addition to his own legal expenses, Virginia state law requires convicted offenders to reimburse the Commonwealth for court costs including their victim's case-related travel expenses. In Beebe's case, those fees have already topped $2,300– a figure that will likely increase.
Seccuro, who traveled from her home in Greenwich, Connecticut to Charlottesville on approximately five occasions, but is due reimbursement for only three of those visits, is also dealing with frustration over the expenses accrued during the course of the investigation and court case. While standard practice is for the Commonwealth to reimburse the victim and then pass the expense on to the perpetrator, Seccuro has not yet received full reimbursement. Worrell says the release of those funds is pending approval from the Virginia Supreme Court, a process he says will take four to six weeks.
Beebe's future earning potential and ability to find an employer willing to accept his past remain in question, but he'll have some help in the hunt. Larry Traylor, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Corrections, says one role a probation officer plays is assisting in the job search.