Sex Crime Law in Pennsylvania

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Avoid Being a Pennsylvania Sex Offender

Sex crimes in Pennsylvania include traditional crimes such as rape, which is sexual penetration without consent, and prostitution, which is sex for hire.  The most grievous of sex crimes include the sexual assault (unwanted physical contact with a sexual organ) of children.  For example, a Pittsburgh rabbi recently got 3 years’ probation for improperly touching a boy’s genital area while applying suntan lotion. 

Minor sex crimes include voyeurism (spying on people engaged in intimate, private behaviors), public indecency, lewd acts, illegal possession of pornography, and pandering (the recruitment of prostitutes and solicitation of customers).  Sexual communication with a minor via Internet and possession of child pornography are being increasingly prosecuted as police detection techniques become more sophisticated. 

Registration as a Sex Offender

Pennsylvania requires sex offenders to register their personal information after conviction.  Sex offenders must update the information every year or more frequently for violent predators.  Crimes such as the following permit 10-year registry: indecent assault, luring a child into a motor vehicle, obscene materials shown to a minor, incest, and unlawful contact with minor. 

Serious crimes require lifetime registration in Pennsylvania, including aggravated indecent assault, incest where the victim is under 12, repeat offenders, and sex crimes involving violence and children. 

Expunction of Criminal Records

Expunction is the destruction of records, so that the convict can get a job and move on with is life.  Pennsylvania allows crimes to be expunged only for the following traditional categories:  a not guilty verdict, dismissed charges, crimes committed as a juvenile, completion of a rehabilitative program, governor pardon, offender is older than 70 with no criminal arrests for 10 years, or the offender dies.  Sex crimes are generally non-expungable, but a judge may consider mitigating circumstances. You will probably need an experienced Pennsylvania criminal attorney to handle your case.

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Last Modified: 12-23-2013 01:12 PM PST

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