Law enforcement in Pennsylvania use many tools to help them track down people who may be guilty of a crime. Although it’s their job to find and arrest people who have committed sex crimes, drug crimes, and other serious offenses, it’s also important for them to follow the limits established in the state and federal constitutions.
Pennsylvanians who are arrested for sex crimes are not only subject to harsh penalties, but they also experience the embarrassment of such a serious crime. For this reason, it is important for law enforcement to ensure that they are arresting a person who matches the victim's description before they arrest and accuse someone of sex offenses.
When Pennsylvania law enforcement discover a possible sex offender, it is likely that the person has little control over his or her behavior. Unfortunately, this lack of control sometimes causes the person to have multiple victims. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the person’s repeated sex offenses could be a result of a personality or mental disorder.
Many Pennsylvanians spend at least a few years of their young lives at Penn State University, where most students build lasting friendships. Unfortunately, college campuses are also known for sex offenses, especially when there are drugs or alcohol involved.
In Pennsylvania, rape is a first degree felony with serious consequences that may include up to 20 years in prison, a fine or both, but rape is just one of many crimes that may merit legal ramifications. Other offenses include internet pornography, prostitution, child pornography, sexual assault or a number of other sex crimes.
A federal district court judge expressed his dismay with the defendant before him when he said "I can't ignore the overwhelmingly dispicable violation of trust that occurred here" as he sentenced a woman convicted in a child pornography scheme to a 25 year sentence. The woman was initially accused of taking explicit pictures of her own seven-year-old daughter and sending them to an accomplice in New Jersey that were eventually viewed around the world.
Being accused of a sex crime carries a unique (and forever damaging) social stigma where people may assume you are guilty simply by being charged. The assumptions and notions are even more severe when sex crime charges involve the alleged exploitation of children.
In what was described as "the most important criminal procedure case" heard in decades, the United States Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement agencies can take DNA samples of people who are arrested. The process, which commonly is conducted through a cheek swab, gives law enforcement an important tool in being able to link perpetrators to unrelated crimes (and cold cases).
Former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth has been arrested and charged with several criminal counts, including rate, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, false imprisonment and aggravated assault, according to CBS News.com report.
Social media and text messages have provided a new avenue of evidence for prosecutors and defense attorneys alike to find information to support their cases. In many instances, Facebook posts, Twitter rants and text messages are seen as genuine because they are often made spontaneously. Also, investigators can find the exact time the statements were made, and there is little ambiguity about what is said.