Beebe to go free

Although back in March Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire sentenced William N. Beebe to 10 years behind bars– with all but 18 months suspended– it seems Beebe won't serve even that abbreviated sentence for his role in a 1984 sexual assault in a fraternity house. In fact, the Hook has learned Beebe is now counting the days until his release, which has been officially scheduled for 8am on September 17. He will have served six months and two days.

How can Beebe– considered legally to be a violent sex offender– be released so quickly?

Beebe's parole officer, Jeff Lenert, declined comment, and Beebe's attorney, Rhonda Quagliana, did not immediately return the Hook's call. Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell, who prosecuted Beebe, says that the 42-year-old former real estate agent was sentenced under guidelines in force at the time of his crime, nearly 23 years ago.

At that time, people convicted of even violent offenses were eligible for discretionary parole after serving a small fraction of their sentence, and parole became mandatory after just one-third of the sentence had been served. Governor George Allen– who ran for office in 1994 on a platform of abolishing parole and revamping a system he recently called "lenient and dishonest"– made good on his promise during his first year in office.

The case made international news after Beebe, a recovering alcoholic, contacted his victim, Liz Seccuro, to apologize as part of a 12-step program. As detailed in a January 2006 Hook cover story in which Seccuro first went public, Beebe sent a letter of apology to Seccuro at her Greenwich, Connecticut home. "I harmed you," he wrote. In later emailed missives, Beebe eventually admitted to raping Seccuro, although once she took that admission to the police, Beebe back-pedaled, and his lawyer termed the assault a "too-much-to-drink college sex event."

Seccuro declined comment on Beebe's release. However, it's the second surprise for her in the last month. In early July, police and prosecutors revealed they would no longer pursue an investigation into other attacks on Seccuro that allegedly occurred the same night in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.

Upon his release, Beebe plans to move to Florida, where he has already registered as a sex offender.

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36 comments

The victim is a flat out liar

Huh? Let's review the facts as reported above:

Beebe sent a letter of apology to Seccuro at her Greenwich, Connecticut home. ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??I harmed you,¢Ã¢â??¬ he wrote. In later emailed missives, Beebe eventually admitted to raping Seccuro, although once she took that admission to the police, Beebe back-pedaled, and his lawyer termed the assault a ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??too-much-to-drink college sex event.¢Ã¢â??¬

So he was open and honest until the police became involved...and SHE'S a liar?

There you have it: If you rape a virgin girl, and you get away with it for over twenty yerars, and then you confess and get convicted, and Edward Hogshire (who has sentenced cannibis horticulturists to many, many years in prison) is the judge, it is far better than if you rape a virgin girl, and get caught immediately. Lesson: If you rape a virgin girl, make sure you do it in a jurisdiction where Ed Hogshire will be the judge, get away with it for twenty years, and then confess. You'll be out in no time, while the potheads rot away in jail. ED HOGSHIRE LOVES RAPISTS!

P.S. I think Edward Hogshire deserves to be shot.

P.P.S. Right alongside William Beebe.

P.P.P.S: That's not to say that the prison guard who unlocks William Beebe's jail cell door doesn't deserve twelve bullets in the heart either. Perhaps more so, for without his actions, justice will not be mocked.

As far as I can tell, NWO is not making a direct threat. He is not "calling" for anyone's assasination. He's simply stating an opinion. In fact, he makes a good point--why should a pot grower serve more time than a rapist? I would ask those disturbed by NWO's comments if they are also disturbed by these other comments left on the Hook's website....should these be expunged as well? Or are comments like these directed at a judge somehow different when they're directed at a pro football player, a criminal who has served his time, and teenage thugs?

An animal lover on Mr. Vick:
His punishment should be to chain him to one of his rape stands and suffer the unmentionable cruelty he found to be entertaining.

On Glenn Barker:
I recommend Anal Electrocution, stick an electrode up his ass, and one down his throat, then up the voltage until he talks.

As for Barker, I feel the same way. Going up I always wondered okay, I'll wait for the little SOB to get out of jail and I torture him until he talked.

On the downtown attackers:
Now, no one, least of all me, is advocating vigilante justice. But hypothetically speaking, you wanna bet this bullshit would cease & desist mighty quickly if a couple of these thugs got capped and given a ticket to the long adios?

To Sigh: perhaps a book will explain a lot of this to us. Is it wrong that the Central Park jogger wrote a book? Is it wrong that the woman held hostage by the Atlanta courthouse murderer wrote a book? Is it wrong Valerie Plame is writing a book? You seem to think that her writing a book is somehow awful - why? Good for her. That's what people do to expel demons and teach others. They write. Your tone of astonishment is laughable.

She's not a media hound. She's trying to get people to understand why rape is wrong and his sentence is wrong. He's not hapless. He's a scumbag rapist.

Perhaps you feel Beebe should write a book like O.J., unearth Judith Regan and profit from his crime. Last I checked, he's the one who got the better end of the deal - as in, not being gang raped. And I do recall him speaking to the media when he pled guilty and it was disgusting.

Re: #5 I have a problem understanding how a prison guard should be shot with 12 bullets in the heart for doing his job and not breaking the law. Would his family be entitled to retribution from the shooter.

I get nervous when we create an environment (or blogspace) that desensitzes us to the significance of illegal acts. The climate in the mid 1980's, accoring to the coverage I read, was indifference to this crime. I cannot help but believe that prevailing mores back then made it easier for police to take that position. We run the risk of creating a similar indifference to crime when we suggest that killing the jailer is somehow acceptable.

Well, now, didn't he just go to jail like last week? Must be nice! Let me rape - oh, gang rape - her, cover up for my buddies, write her a letter, recant my confession, spend the taxpayers money and get six months for my troubles. Nice job, Charlottesville.

I'm with NWO up there. Leave the pot smokers alone! Great points, all.

Beebe should be lauded for his attempt at forgiveness and reconciliation. Our society needs to appreciate people owning up to their past and admitting wrong-doing. I, for one, admire him.

Mike - you admire the attempt at forgiveness or the rape? They are two separate things. To admire "the man" in totality is quite scary. I am sure there are more than a few criminals who are truly sorry for what they've done. I think there are more people who are truly sorry they've been caught. The remorse does not largely change the impact on their victims and their families though. I don't think the Seccuro family will ever admire William Beebe, especially now that he's been given a painfully short time to serve. The fact that he didn't cooperate regarding the other rapists is something he really should have helped out with if he wanted to exonerate himself.

MIKE ADMIRES RAPISTS!!!!

All's im sayins is that if he had gotten caught when he did it, folks wouldn't be givin' a rats ass about his problems wit the alkee hol.

I'm not sure the reporting of the old parole guidelines is correct. Googling it, one can find that the old law made people eligible after they had served 1/4 of their sentence. That could be reduced to about 1/6 of their sentence after adding in "good time" credits - which the convict could only start earning once in the state system. "Mandatory" release, including Good Time, occurred after about 1/2 of the sentence had been served. By those numbers, Beebe is getting out way early. Hold the parole officer's feet to the fire - and the parole board's as well. Isn't this a matter of public record?

Best case for Beebe is he would be eligible for parole after 20 months. And the key word there is "eligible." The Parole Board had to approve this. Somebody screwed up. As much as George Allen liked to say it, Virginia's Parole Board never had a reputation for letting violent and sex offenders out as soon as they were eligible.

This doesn't pass the smell test.

Self-correction: "As much as George Allen liked to claim otherwise, Virginia's Parole Board never had a reputation for letting violent and sex offenders out as soon as they were eligible."

Imagine that - George Allen misrepresenting something.

I appreciate the free flow of dialogue on this blog but I think it's beyond the pale to call for the assassination of a local judge and I can't believe the Hook has not expunged this post.

NWO, you sound just a wee bit unstable.
Hook - do you really think it's a good idea to have someone threatening violence on your Web site?

I think it's great that Judge Hogshire knows that his life or limb may be in danger. I hope he and the local police departments will take appropriate action to protect him.

Answer: People like William Beebe shouldn't still be alive to be asking for forgiveness, apologizing. As for setting it straight, he's lucky he still has one to set straight. My postings aren't about whether or not he should have confessed, years later. They are about whether he should be rewarded for keeping this secret from the public (who, by law, has the right to know) for over twenty years, and then choosing to confess. I see that he has been given such a reward, and it makes me indignant. MIKES FRIEND SYMPATHIZES WITH RAPISTS AND RAPIST-LOVERS!!!

THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED FROM ALL THESE POSTINGS --- IF YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG -- ANYTHING !-- AND YOU DIDN'T GET CAUGHT, NEVER TRY TO ATONE , OR ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, OR APOLOGIZE -- OR SET IT STRAIGHT -- OR PERHAPS MAKE SOME RESTITUTION --- JUST LET IT GO AND SAY NOTHING TO ANYONE --- SO IS THAT THE FUTURE CONDUCT WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE FOR EVERYONE???

Oh, be real people. Bloggers have threatened violence against the VICTIM on this blog and no one says a gosh darn thing. This bit of news is more than unsettling and has ramifications for all of us as citizens and constituents. Maybe the heat drove everyone a little nuts.

This is NOT about NWO's comments, which, I have to agree with #19. He did not "call" for any such thing and as #19 so aptly illustrated, much worse has been said on this blog. Hey, we're anonymous, fire away! What this IS about is how a rapist gets so little time and how it seems like a surprise to everyone. Something is not right and I, for one would like to know how this happened. It doesn't seem very clear in the article.

Music Lover seems to make some decent points.

He did not cooperate with his plea deal. End of story. Now, they cannot arrest the others, or they don't have enough money or whatever. The whole thing stinks and I'd be very upset if I was the victim or her family.

I'd like to know the actual calculation of the sentencing guidelines and make sure some didn't F**k up. RIght? Right.

If Seccuro wasn't such an outrageous media hound I'd feel sorry for her. But her relentless publicity seeking actually makes Beebe seem sorta hapless, even sympathetic. She's now writing a BOOK!

A book . . . well that certainly supports the statements by people who allege Securro made this affair as public of a matter as possible for finanical gain/notariety. There you go.

While y'all debate the validity of the trial and accusations, let me give you something else to think about ... My daughter's rapist graduated from UVA and I hear he's still in the area because of family. He's had 2 police reports filed against him for rape but the Commonwealth Attorney just doesn't think he can achieve a "win" on either and therefore won't prosecute. With this teflon boy on the loose I fear for the incoming freshman females....

Regarding Post #5. Are you suggesting that that the prison guards ignore their responsibilities and take matters into their own hands?

Some people in this town (or blogspace) seem to believe publicity seeking, which is entirely necessary when one wants an issue important them (such as being raped) to be considered by many others, is somehow immoral. At the same time, these same people seem to believe raping someone (an actual violent crime) is somehow acceptable, if the person who was raped is a "media hound". SHAME ON YOU, SIGH, FOR PUTTING RAPISTS MORALLY ABOVE SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM. THANK YOU, LIZ SECCURO, FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO DO WHAT YOU DID, NOT BACK DOWN, AND INVITE ILL-INFORMED, INSENSITIVE, AND MORALLY-DEPRAVED CRITICISM FROM IDIOTS LIKE "SIGH". As for comment #5, it says what it means, and it means what it says. People in this town (or blogspace) seem to have a problem with letting statements stand as they are, without trying to read something else into them.

Oh a book by Seccuro, that will clear everything up. Just like her repeated different versions and outright lies. I'll take a guess at the working title. Space aliens, Elvis, and my personal gain. Publisher? Nat. Enquirer of course. Before we get the immediate "oh how could you?", lets start with something small. The post above by Deac refers to gang rape. Where did that come from? I've seen it a few times. Where did that originate? Is there anything to support it past the point of origination?

NWO, you have no idea what you are talking about. Do you lack attention in your life? It may take some time but you really should do your research before you post. You are not alone though as you appear to equate volume with honesty and fact. The only way to get anything approaching all of the truth out of this would be to have an independent party look at the evidence and report the findings. I'd be willing to make a sizable "charitable donation" bet with you that the findings would contradict Seccuro's own words in several large ways. How could we get that done? We need someone like you that will lap up every word she says to contact her and make the proposal. She might listen to you because without you, she has no stage.

Sadly, there remains a vestige of the "kids will be kids" perspective on college campus crimes. I believe this is why there are relatively few drug prosecutions on college campuses. The potential witnesses do not want to rat out there peers.

I am afraid this is also true of sexual assault. If a report is made, the attitude of many of the perpertrator's friends when they hear complaints about an alleged attack is "she seemed to be into him when I saw them, she must have sobered up". Many women suffer these crimes in relative silence, because they would also like to avoid the publicity/perceived shame that accompanies these types of crime.

I am glad to see that Charlottesville has prosecuted at least one such case now. Hopefully, more victims will have the courage to prosecute. If perpetrators perceive a risk in their behavior, they are less likely to break the law.

That said, ours is not a perfect justice system. Not even close. I cannot help but believe, however, that it is a far better system than vigilantism based on retribution. I also believe that people who call for revenge lose credibilty for their primary argument: that acquaintance rape is a serious crime, deserving serious punishment, carefully imposed.

I am sorry for what happened to commentator #35's daughter. I hope that the police have at least investigated/interviewed the guy. If he knows he is being watched, he may be less likely to commit another crime.

Thank God! Maybe this story can go away forever now.

Mike's Friend - are you saying that somebody who comes forward years later and admits committing an act of sexual violence should receive special treatment - more special than, say, somebody who comes forward a week after the crime? Are you saying that person should be treated with deference and forgiveness without even having served the statutory minimum for his crime? Are you saying the victim of a sex crime should just get over it and let this guy walk away from his heinous violation of her? So it's more important for him to clear his conscience than it is for him to pay a price for his crime?

Interesting.