No matter if you are innocent or if there is a weak case around you – you should never take a charge for a Pennsylvania sex crime lightly. There are law enforcement officers, judges, and juries who will jump at the chance to champion the victim in your case. Protecting your rights in this situation is critical. Not only do you face costly fines and lengthy jail times if you are convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania, but the stigma of being a sex offender will follow you for the rest of your life.
Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia
Joseph Lento is a trial veteran who knows what your case is up against and how to form a truly effective defense strategy. That's why he founded his firm Lento Law Firm on the principles of service and true justice. He is committed to providing comprehensive, customized legal services to the defendants who need it the most.
If you are facing the immense burden of a Philadelphia sex crime charge, whether it is false or exaggerated, call Lento Law Firm today at (215) 535-5353 for your free initial case consultation, and discover what Joseph Lento can do for you.
Information Center for Pennsylvania Sex Crimes
- Important Definitions for Defendants
- Common Sex Offenses and Related Penalties
- Potential Usable Evidence
- Megan's Law
- Philadelphia Sex Offender Registration
- Pennsylvania Sex Crime Resources
Important Definitions for Defendants
- Alleged victim of a crime
Deviate Sexual Intercourse
- Penetration of the genitals or anus of the victim with a foreign object regardless of severity, excluding situations with a legitimate medical, hygienic, or law enforcement purpose
- Any physical object that is not a body part of the accused individual
- Express or implied compulsion through physical, moral, emotional, psychological, or intellectual force, which can result in the death of another person before, during, or after the act of sexual intercourse
- The touching of intimate or sexual parts of another person for the intent of arousal or sexual gratification in either person
Common Sex Offenses and Related Penalties
Due to the mental, physical, and emotional harm that can be inflicted on the victim, sexual crimes have serious, punitive penalties to match the gravity of their impact. Additionally, if the victim is drugged without his or her knowledge for the purpose of rendering him or her incapable of resisting sexual intercourse, the alleged offender could be facing an extra 10 years of prison and up to $100,000 in added fines. Some sexual offenses more common to the Philadelphia area include:
- When a person engages in indecent contact with the victim, causes the victim to have indecent contact with said person, or intentionally causing the victim to come in contact with urine, feces, or seminal fluid for the purpose of arousal in the victim or offender
- First or second-degree misdemeanor, or third-degree felony
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3126
- When a person reveals his or her genitals in a public setting, or in a situation where the person knows the act is likely to offend or alarm others
- First or second-degree misdemeanor
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3126
- When a person engages in penetration of the genitals or anus of the victim without a legitimate medical, hygienic, or law enforcement purpose
- First or second-degree felony offense
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3125
- When a person engages in sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse with a victim without his or her consent
- Second-degree felony
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3124.1
- When a person engages in sexual intercourse with a victim who is 4 years younger than said person and the victim is under 16.
- Excludes married couples that meet these requirements
- Second-degree felony
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3122.1
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI)
- When a person engages in any form of sexual intercourse with a victim without the victim's consent
- Includes involuntary sexual intercourse with a child and involuntary sexual intercourse with a
- First-degree felony
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3123
- When a person forces the victim to engage in sexual intercourse through forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, or in a situation where the victim is unable to give consent due to his or her mental faculties or existing mental disabilities
- First-degree felony
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121
Potential Usable Evidence
Certain types of evidence is inadmissible to trial by the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes in cases of sexual offenses. This includes, but is not limited to, the following evidence:
- Victim's previous sexual conduct
- Opinion concerning victim's previous sexual conduct
- Reputation of the victim regarding past sexual conduct
It is possible, however, for the defense to file a motion that the consent of the alleged victim is a valid issue and such evidence is therefore relevant. The court will the order an on-camera hearing and make on-record findings about the relevance and admissibility of this type of evidence if the court determines that the motion and offer of proof are sufficient to investigate.
Known as the Sexual Offender Act of 1994 at the federal level, Megan's law provides for community notification and registration of sex offenders. Under this law, people who have been convicted of sex crimes against children must alert local law enforcement of any address or employment changes after release from a psychiatric facility or prison.
Megan's Law is further modified to include new registration requirements and a three-tier classification system based on danger to the community through the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, also known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act. Additionally, this act creates a national sex offender registry and requires states use identical criteria for posting the sex offender information on the internet. It is a felony for sex offenders to fail to update their information in the pre-designated periods.
Philadelphia Sex Offender Registration
Under Megan's Law, the details of what information must be provided to law enforcement varies state to state. Pennsylvania requires that all aliases, identifying characteristics, current photos, fingerprints, social security numbers, birthdays, addresses, employment, races, genders, ethnicities, offense histories, and mental abnormality or personality disorder treatment documentation be collected for persons convicted of the following offenses:
- Unlawful contact with a minor
- Unlawful communication with a minor
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent assault on a victim who is less than 13 years old
- Kidnapping of a minor
- Promotion of prostitution with a victim that is a minor
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI)
In addition to those convicted of these offenses in Pennsylvania, this law also applies to individuals convicted of these offenses in another state or federal court who are a student, resident, or are employed in Pennsylvania. For individuals subject to a 10-year reporting requirement, failure to comply will result in a third-degree felony, up to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 fine. For individuals subject to lifetime registration, failure to register under Megan's law is a first-degree felony, and comes with up to life in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Pennsylvania Sex Crime Resources
Pennsylvania's Megan's Law Website – Maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police, the purpose of this website is to assist state law enforcement officers in making information regarding local registered sex offenders available to the public, including the offender's name, photo, the nature of his or her crime, identifying characteristics, and registration start date.
ASTSA - Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers – Established in the 1970s, ASTSA is a multinational organization dedicated to the prevention of sexual abuse. ASTSA seeks to accomplish this task through educational information, ongoing dialogue, and influencing public policy.
Klaas Kids Foundation – Founded in memory of the founder's daughter, who was the victim of a violent sex crime, the Klaas kids foundation is dedicated to stopping sex crimes against children. To achieve this goal, the KKF develops community partnerships, works with law enforcement officers, and lobbies legislators in order to create safety initiatives for the children of our nation.
Finding An Experienced Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia
If you have been accused of a sex crime, don't face the uphill battle alone. Contact the attorneys of Lento Law Firm today. Joseph Lento has extensive experience in various facets of criminal case proceedings, which he will use to build a customized defense for your Philadelphia sexual offense case.
To begin fighting for your rights and the protection of your future, call Lento Law Firm today at (215) 535-5353 to schedule your free initial case consultation.