0

On December 20, 2012, the Adam Walsh Act (SORNA) required many individuals who were convicted of sex offenses but not classified as violent sex offenders to begin registering as sexual offenders.  A new law passed in March 2014 has removed the registration requirement for individuals convicted of second-degree felony Indecent Assault between January 22, 2006, and January 1, 2007; Unlawful restraint (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2902(b)); False Imprisonment (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2903(b)); Interference with the Custody of Children (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2904);  Statutory Sexual Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3122.1); Corruption of Minors (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6301); Invasion of Privacy (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 7507.1); and second-degree misdemeanor Indecent Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. 3126) between January 23, 2005 and December 19, 2012. 

Individuals who did not have to register as a sexual offender before December 19, 2012 and were convicted of one of the offenses listed above should contact a criminal defense attorney for advice on whether the new law applies to them.

Continue Reading

1

Starting tomorrow, the rules for who must register as a Megan’s Law sex offender in Pennsylvania will change.  Under the new law, sex offenders are classified by three tiers.  Tier I offenders will have to register for 15 years.  Tier II offenders will have to register for 25 years.  Tier III offenders will have to register for life.  If you are currently serving a period of incarceration for a sexual offense, are currently on parole or probation for a sexual offense, or are currently a Megan’s Law registrant, the new law will affect you.

 Please note that, if you are currently incarcerated or on parole or probation for a sexual offense, you will be forced to register under the new law even if your offense was not a Megan’s Law offense before. 

 If the terms of your registration have changed because of the modification to Megan’s Law or if you were previously not required to register but now have to register because of the change in the law, contact the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) practice of Bickerton & Bickerton at 412-398-5507 or 412-596-8124 for a consultation.

Continue Reading

0

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Allegheny County sex offender residency restriction ordinance has been rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  The court concluded that the local residency restriction is invalid because it “clearly interferes with the statewide operation of the Sentencing and Parole Codes and with the General Assembly’s policies in these arenas.”  The 3rd Circuit Court of the United States previously concluded that the residency restrictions were improper and petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to determine whether the local residency restrictions were pre-empted by Megan’s Law.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that the state legislature already provided for the supervision and restriction of sex offender’s residences and that local government bodies are therefore precluded from enacting their own restrictions.

 

For more information:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_739096.html

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-79-2010mo.pdf

Continue Reading

0

Commonwealth v. Jeffrey Williams 2009 PA Super 121 (7/002/2009)

Topic: PCRA – Timeliness – Megan’s Law Registration

Summary: Megan’s Law registration requirements are considered collateral consequences and the period of registration does not extend the time within which an appellant is permitted to file a PCRA petition. (In other words, once an appellant has completed his sentence, he is no longer eligible for PCRA relief, regardless of whether he is a registered Megan’s Law offender.)

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/s19034_09.pdf

Continue Reading

0
Commonwealth v. William Howard Wilgus 2009 PA Super 116 (6/26/2009)

Topic: Megan’s Law Registration – Homeless Megan’s Law Violator

Summary: When a defendant has no shelter or fixed abode, he is not required to register under Megan’s Law. A defendant who is staying at a temporary residence is required to register.

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Superior/out/a06028_09.pdf

Continue Reading

0
United States District Court Judge Gary Lancaster has ruled that the sex offender residency restriction ordinance passed by Allegheny County is illegal. The restriction would have barred sex offenders registered under Megan’s Law from “residing within 2,500 feet of any school, child care facility, recreation center, public park, or community center.” Judge Lancaster ruled that the ordinance conflicted with state law and was therefore illegal. Judge Lancaster also noted that the ordinance would bar registered sex offenders from living in most locations in Allegheny County. The county has not determined whether it will appeal the decision.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09083/957836-85.stm

**UPDATE: 3/23/2009 4:22pm**

Allegheny County has decided to appeal the decision.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09083/957951-100.stm

Continue Reading

0
Pennsylvania lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would require “ultra-violent” offenders to register under Megan’s Law. Under a Megan’s Law registry, members of the general public are able to see who the violent offenders are and where they live. According to State Representative Thomas Caltagirone, the proposed law would “just targe[t] those that are the serious, violent offenders….

For more information, go to:

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20090318__Poster_child_for_parole_reform_.html

Continue Reading

0
The Contra Costa Times reports that the state of California is spending millions of dollars housing convicted registered sex offenders who are unable to locate housing that is compliant with Jessica’s Law.

Under Jessica’s Law residency restrictions, registered sex offenders are not permitted to gather within 2,000 feet of any school, playground, park, or other location where children may gather. With these restrictions, sex offenders are severely limited in housing choice. The state, aware of the correlation of vagrancy and recidivism in sex offenders, is attempting to help the sex offenders obtain housing. In situations where the offender is unable to secure adequate housing, the state has paid for the expense.

While proponents of residency restrictions believe that they are beneficial, opponents believe that they are, at best, ineffective and, at worst, help contribute to the recidivism of sex offenders.

For more information, go to:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11480390?nclick_check=1

Continue Reading

0
Officials in Perkasie, Pennsylvania are considering implementing residency restrictions for violent predators registered under Megan’s Law. The plan is currently in its early stages.

For more information, go to:

http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2009/01/14/news/srv0000004449771.txt

Continue Reading

0
A new study by Dr. Jill Levenson, Dr. Paul Zandbergen, and Dr. Timothy Hart shows that sex offenders who live near schools and day care centers are no more likely to reoffend than sex offenders who live far from areas where children gather. This study casts further doubt on the effectiveness of broad-based legislative residency restrictions.

For more information, go to:

http://sexoffenderstudies.blogspot.com/

http://yfg0ra.bay.livefilestore.com/y1p3Y7SjBMyfgjzyIbK0S5dBuwVJYraxEy3mz710e_xoaLlbiYxpiNitZHH_nTTXyStGQ-gVtyAFOkep37k3TWEsA/Residential%20Proximity-and-Recidivism.pdf?download

Continue Reading