Pennsylvania Megan’s Law and SORNA

Under Pennsylvania law, people who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses are required to register with the state under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (“Megan’s Law” before 2012, now the “Adam Walsh Act”).  If you are an individual who is required to register but don’t, you can be charged with failure to comply with Sex Offender Registration requirements (18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 4915.1).  The failure to comply with Sex Offender Registration requirements can be charged as a felony and comes with mandatory jail time.   If you have been charged with a Megan’s Law offense or failure to comply with the Megan’s Law registration requirements, contact the criminal defense lawyers of Bickerton & Bickerton for a consulation.

What are the new Sex Offender Registration Tiers?

1. Tier I Offenders are subject to a 15-year Registration

Tier I Offenses include:

  • Unlawful Restraint (18 Pa.C.S. § 2902(b))
  • False Imprisonment (18 Pa.C.S. § 2903(b))
  • Interference with the Custody of Children (18 Pa.C.S. § 2904)
  • Luring of a Child (18 Pa.C.S. § 2910)
  • Institutional Sexual Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a))
  • Indecent Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(1))
  • Corruption of Minors (18 Pa.C.S. § 6301(a)(1)(ii))
  • Sexual Abuse of Children (18 Pa.C.S. § 6312(d))
  • Invasion of Privacy (18 Pa.C.S. § 7507.1)
  • Video Voyeurism (18 U.S.C. § 1801)
  • Sexual Exploitation of Minors 18 U.S.C. § 2252 (relating to certain activities
  • relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors).
  • Material Relating to Child Pronography (18 U.S.C. § 2252A)
  • Misleading Domain Names on the Internet (18 U.S.C. § 2252B)
  • Misleading Words or Images on the Internet (18 U.S.C. § 2252C)
  • Coercion and Enticement (18 U.S.C. § 2422(a))
  • Transportation of Minors With Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity (18 U.S.C. § 2423(b))
  • Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct With Minors in Foreign Places (18 U.S.C. § 2423(c))
  • Filing Factual Statement About An Alien Individual (18 U.S.C. § 2424)
  • Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information About a Minor (18 U.S.C. § 2425)
  • Offenders convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses listed above
  • Offenders convicted in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of an equivalent offense listed under Tier I and the offender:
    • Resides in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is employed or carries on a vocation in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is a student in the Commonwealth.

 

2. Tier II Offenders are subject to a 25-year Registration

Tier II Offenses include:

  • Statutory Sexual Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(a)(2))(1.1); 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a.2) and (a.3); (1.2) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) or (8). )
  • Prostitution (18 Pa.C.S. § 5902(b.1))
  • Obscene and Other Sexual Materials and Performances (18 Pa.C.S. § 5903(a)(3)(ii), (4)(ii), (5)(ii) or (6))
  • Sexual Abuse of a Minor (18 Pa.C.S. § 6312(b) and (c).
  • Unlawful Contact with a Minor  (18 Pa.C.S. § 6318)
  • Exploitation of Children (18 Pa.C.S. § 6320)
  • Sex Trafficking of Children by Force, Fraud, or Coercion (18 U.S.C. § 1591)
  • Sexual Abuse of a Minor (18 U.S.C. § 2243)
  • Abusive Sexual Contact 18 U.S.C. § 2244)
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children (18 U.S.C. § 2251)
  • Buying or Selling of Children (18 U.S.C. § 2251A)
  • Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (18 U.S.C. § 2252)
  • Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States (18 U.S.C. § 2260)
  • Transportation of a Person With Intent to Have Them Perform Illegal Sexual Activity (18 U.S.C. § 2421)
  • Coercing a Person to Travel With Intent to Have Them Perform Illegal Sexual Activity (18 U.S.C. § 2422(b))
  • Transportation of a Minor With Intent to Have Them Perform Illegal Sexual Activity (18 U.S.C. § 2423(a))
  • Offenders convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses listed above
  • Offenders convicted in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of an equivalent offense listed under Tier II and the offender:
    • Resides in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is employed or carries on a vocation in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is a student in the Commonwealth.

3. Tier III Offenders are subject to a Lifetime Registration

 Tier III Offenses include:

  • Kidnapping (18 Pa.C.S. § 2901(a.1))
  • Rape (18 Pa.C.S. § 3121)
  • Statutory Sexual Assault  (Minor is under the age of 16, the Defendant is 11 or more years older than the Minor and the Minor and Defendant are not married) (18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(b))
  • Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (18 Pa.C.S. § 3123)
  • Sexual Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1)
  • Institutional Sexual Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a.1))
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 3125)
  • Indecent Assault of a Person Under 13 Years of Age (18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(7))
  • Incest (18 Pa.C.S. § 4302(b))
  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse (18 U.S.C. § 2241)
  • Sexual Abuse(18 U.S.C. § 2242)
  • Offenders convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses listed above
  • An offense listed as a Tier II sexual offense where there is a subsequent conviction for an offense graded as a felony
  • Two or more convictions for offenses listed in Tier I or Tier II
  • Offenders convicted in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of an equivalent offense listed under Tier III and the offender:
    • Resides in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is employed or carries on a vocation in the Commonwealth; or
    • Is a student in the Commonwealth.

What are the new Sex Offender Registration Requirements?

  • Tier I Offenders (15-Year Registrants) must register in person annually.
  • Tier II Offenders (25-Year Registrants) must register in person every six months.
  • Tier III Offenders (Lifetime Registrants) and Sexually Violent Predators must register in person every three months.
  • Transients (individuals who do not have a permanent address) must register in person every month.
  • Registered Sex Offenders are still required to report in person within three business days if there is a change in address, phone number, employment, educational status, etc.

What were the Megan’s Law Registration Requirements in Pennsylvania before December 20, 2012?

  • The following are the old Megan’s Law  registration requirements:
  • Ten year Registrants:
    • Offenders who are convicted of one of the following offenses:Offenders convicted of an attempt to commit any of the offenses listed above
      • Kidnapping, where the victim is a minor (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2901)
      • Luring a Child into a Motor Vehicle (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2910)
      • Institutional Sexual Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3124.2)
      • Indecent Assault where the offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3126)
      • Incest, where the victim is 12 years of age or older but under 18 years of age (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 4302)
      • Prostitution and related offenses, where the actor promotes the prostitution of a minor (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5902[b])
      • Obscene and other sexual materials and performances, where the victim is a minor (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5903[a] [3], [4], [5], or [6])
      • Sexual abuse of children (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6312)
      • Unlawful contact with minor (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6318)
      • Sexual exploitation of children (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6320)
    • Offenders convicted in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of an equivalent offense listed under the 10-year registration and the offender:
      • Resides in the Commonwealth; or
      • Is employed or carries on a vocation in the Commonwealth; or
      • Is a student in the Commonwealth.

Note: Offenders convicted in other jurisdictions are subject to a period of registration equal to that of their jurisdiction of origin, but in no case will the registration period be less than ten years.  In other words, if the other jurisdiction has a period longer than Pennsylvania’s, the offender must register for the longer period.  In the period in the other jurisdiction is less than ten years, the offender must register for ten years.

    • Offenders paroled after the effective date of the statute for any of the offenses under the 10-year registration.
  • Lifetime Registrants:
    • Offenders with two or more convictions of any of the offenses set forth under the 10-year registration.  These offenses include:Offenders designated by the court as Sexually Violent Predators
      • Rape (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3121)
      • Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3123)
      • Sexual Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3124.1)
      • Aggravated Indecent Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3125)
      • Incest, where the victim is under 12 years of age (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 4302)
    • Offenders being released from a state or county correctional facility for any of the offenses under lifetime registration
    • Offenders convicted in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of an equivalent offense listed under lifetime registration and the offender:Offenders paroled after the effective date of the statute for any of the offenses under lifetime registration.
      • Resides in the Commonwealth; or
      • Is employed or carries on a vocation in the Commonwealth; or
      • Is a student in the Commonwealth.