Freedom for Beebe

Just after 8am this morning, a virtually unrecognizable William N. Beebe left the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail after serving less than six months for his role in a 1984 UVA fraternity house sexual assault.

Once clean shaven with short hair and an athletic physique, today the 42-year-old Beebe, sporting chin-length hair and a goatee of sorts, appeared paler and slightly heavier. A throng of local media shouted questions and snapped pictures, but Beebe– wearing a suit and carrying a clear plastic garbage bag of books and other belongings– ignored them as he entered the passenger seat of a late-model silver Subaru Legacy wagon and left the facility.

His immediate plans likely involve settling the affairs of his mother, who died in August in Florida following a lengthy illness. Late last month, Beebe requested a 10-day "furlough," an unsupervised release to attend to her affairs, but Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire denied his request. As required by law, Beebe has registered as a sex offender in Florida, where he'd planned to settle after his release, but his mother's death has thrown his plans into question. His name is also on the Virginia Sex Offenders website, though his address is listed at the jail, and sources close to the case say he may be planning to settle in Chesterfield, where he has a network of friends who have supported him and testified on his behalf.

Beebe's victim, Liz Seccuro, has expressed frustration that Beebe– sentenced under more lenient 1984 laws– served so little time, and that he was unable to give prosecution information about other men who may have also assaulted her that night.

The first version of this post incorrectly stated that Beebe is not listed on the Virginia Sex Offenders website.–ed.