Most states in the nation have some form of programs which require people convicted of sex crimes to register. Pennsylvania is among those states. The stated intent of these programs is to increase public safety by providing information to the general public that informs if a registered sex offender lives or works in their neighborhoods. People who face sex crime charges should understand what this program in Pennsylvania requires and how it works.
For obvious reasons, sex crime charges and convictions can have a profoundly negative impact on defendants’ lives. In some cases, however, even baseless allegations can result in a tarnished public image for those who are accused. When this occurs to prominent members of the Philadelphia community, they often suffer from substantial economic losses as a consequence of this bad publicity.
In building cases against alleged sex offenders, prosecutors often rely on eyewitness testimony. While on the surface this type of evidence may seem strong, it has been shown that people often misremember details and improperly identify defendants. Understanding how to dig into potentially unreliable eyewitness testimony can be a big component of a strong criminal defense strategy.
Pennsylvania’s laws governing prohibited sexual activity with minors—commonly known as statutory rape—are in many ways in keeping with other states in the country. This can be seen in information from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which provides a state-by-state breakdown of four basic components of sex crimes involving minors. These components are:
At the law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, our attorneys are dedicated to developing the best possible defenses for each of our clients. This level of commitment can be especially pivotal for cases which fall under Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, as they can carry high-stakes legal consequences.
Statutory rape is generally the domain of state law. However, Pennsylvania, along with many other states in the country, does not have any laws that contain the term “statutory rape.” According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, these types of sex crimes are instead included in laws that prohibit sexual activity with minors.
When parents send their daughters to colleges and universities across the state, they usually hope for the best. Due in part to the partying culture of some universities, sexual assault has become common at universities in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country.
Many people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere fall into the trap of pornography, and it quickly becomes an addiction. For some people, this addiction leads them to seek child pornography. Because it exploits children, people who are caught with child pornography are often prosecuted and punished severely. Often, these people also need help to overcome their addiction.
When Pennsylvania parents send their children to college this fall, they may worry that their daughters, especially, will be changed forever by the trauma of sexual assault. Thankfully, high-level politicians are putting pressure on university officials across the country to lower the incidence of sex crimes on college campuses.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled on December 12, 2013, that the registration requirements under SORNA, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, did not apply to a Defendant who pleaded guilty before SORNA became effective on December 20, 2012, and was not subject to registration under Megan's Law as a result of the guilty plea to sex crimes. In the case of Commonwealth vs. Hainesworth, the Superior Court rendered its decision based on contract law, and not upon constitutional grounds or upon grounds of retroactivity of the new law. The Court said that Hainesworth had entered into a contract to plead guilty of crimes which had no Megan's Law implications, and therefore, he was entitled to the benefit of his guilty plea bargain and did not have to now register as a sex offender.