Author Archives: Staff

ChildLine Administrative Hearings in PA | FAQs

What is the PA ChildLine and Abuse Registry Mandated by 23 Pa.C.S. § 6331 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), ChildLine is a statewide database in Pennsylvania that contains information related to suspected, indicated and founded reports of child … Continue reading

Posted in Administrative Hearings |
Leave a comment

SVP Designation Under PA SORNA Deemed Unconstitutional

On October 31, 2017, the PA Superior Court (in Commonwealth v. Butler, 2017 PA Super 344) ruled that the methodology or “framework” used to designate individuals as Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) under the State’s SORNA laws is unconstitutional. Pennsylvania law (42 … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

PA Supreme Court Declares Retroactive Application of SORNA / Megan’s Law Unconstitutional – 2017

****UPDATE – Petition for Writ of Certiorari Denied – U.S. Supreme Court Appeal – January 22, 2018 – This means that the below ruling was not disturbed**** Since Pennsylvania’s implementation of SORNA on December 20, 2012, numerous legal challenges regarding its seemingly … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

PA Supreme Court: “Two or More Convictions” Must Stem From Multiple Acts & Convictions to Trigger Lifetime Registration Requirement

Section 9799.14 of Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration laws classifies the State’s sexual offenses into three tiers: Tier 1 requiring a 15-year registration period, Tier 2 requiring a 25-year registration period, and Tier III requiring lifetime registration. Included under the Tier … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

PA’s Tender Years Hearsay Act versus the 6th Amendment

A Trial Without Testimony In a previous blog titled “Right To Confrontation is Sexual Abuse Cases“, we discussed how the Crawford case strengthened one’s right to confront his or her accuser during the criminal court process. Prior to this ruling, prosecutors … Continue reading

Posted in 6th Amendment Issues, Hearsay Exceptions |
1 Comment

“On or About” in Texas Sex Crime Indictments

Being accused of a sex crime against a child is perhaps the most difficult accusation to defend yourself against in a court of law. We know that children and teens make false accusations – there are often stories in the … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Procedure, Trials |
Leave a comment

Extending Registration Period in PA Violates Contract Law

In December of 2013, we discussed the PA Superior Court's decision in Hainesworth, wherein the court found that the defendant was not required to register as a sex offender retroactively under SORNA because non-registration was a term of his plea … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

PA Superior Court Upholds Enforcement of Plea Agreement Precluding Sex Offender Registration

Prior to reading this article, we recommend that you first read our previous article in which we discussed the laws surrounding plea agreements, and the issue of plea agreements involving sex offender registration. On December 12, 2012, a Pennsylvania Common … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

Padilla – What It Means for Ex Post Facto Violations

Sex offender registration (SOR) in Pennsylvania has long been considered to be a collateral consequence as opposed to a direct consequence. A few examples of "collateral consequences" include the loss of the right to vote, the loss of the right to … Continue reading

Posted in SORNA |

Amnesty to Those Who Have Made False Accusations of Sexual Abuse

Yes, you’ve read the title of this article correctly, and soon you’ll understand. Contrary to what most prosecutors believe, people (including children) make false accusations of sexual abuse. Sometimes these accusations are deliberate; sometimes they arise due to the accuser’s … Continue reading

Posted in Reform |

Who is the Sexual Predator – The Accused or the Lying Teen?

We’ve encountered many instances where a man has been lured into the web of a deceptive, promiscuous teenager.  Quite often these men are of good nature, and have developed successful lives after overcoming the obstacles that life offers. With one swift … Continue reading

Posted in Age Of Consent | Tagged |

Excited Utterances in Child Sex Abuse Cases

Although each state’s sex crime statutes differ, an excited utterance can be defined as a statement relating to a startling event or condition made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by the event or condition.  An example of … Continue reading

Posted in Hearsay Exceptions | Tagged , |
Comments Off on Excited Utterances in Child Sex Abuse Cases