Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pocono Record Reader's Choice 2015

Consider nominating me for the Pocono Record Reader's Choice 2015 for attorney. Find it under "professional services" at http://www.poconorecord.com/choice

Thank you.

Monday, June 22, 2015

USA Preet Bharara and AUSA Niketh Velamoor should be disbarred. Judge Frank Mass should be removed from office and disbarred.

I have sent a letter to the Federal Bar for Southern New York as well as the New York Bar condemning their actions and asking for an investigation and potential disbarment. I don't expect anything to come of it but this simply cannot stand. I know several of you are also attorneys and I urge you to do the same. This is a blatant, unwarranted, unnecessary, unconstitutional action taken by individuals sworn to uphold the constitution. Also the gag order appears to have been sent in violation of New York's Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate or cause another to communicate about the subject of the representation with a party the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the prior consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law.

This is unconscionable action. If we don't take a stand on this it will get swept under the rug and ignored. I know many of you are not libertarians and don't agree with Reason.com's positions, but that's not the point. If this happened to Mother Jones I'd be doing the same thing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reason.com subject to government persecution


For the past two weeks, Reason, a magazine dedicated to "Free Minds and Free Markets," has been barred by an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from speaking publicly about a grand jury subpoena that court sent to Reason.com.

The subpoena demanded the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike.

US Attorney Preet Bharara and Assistant US Attorney Niketh Velamoor should be disbarred. Judge Frank Mass should be removed from office and disbarred. This is such an egregious overreach and violation of civil rights. There is no excuse for this kind of heavy handed action. They are explicitly violating the 1st Amendment which they swore to uphold.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Off topic - local playground website

My friend Oliver Trojak has put together a website for the Resica Playground in East Stroudsburg, PA as part of a community service project for his graduate studies.


Great website build and looks to be a valuable community service program. Check out the site and help out with the playground build if you can.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Appeal work - "Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal"

The process for an appeal from a Court of Common Pleas to the Superior Court is actually relatively straightforward. Only a simple "Notice of Appeal" needs to be filed along with the appropriate fees. The Notice itself does not need to contain the reasons for the appeal.

The lower court is entitled to request that an appellant file a "Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal", commonly known as a "1925(b) statement." This is the first time that the appellant is required to list the reasons for the appeal. This need not be an exhaustive brief, and it is usually best to make the statements as simple and clear as possible, but it does need to contain all the claims that are a basis for the appeal. Failure to include an issue in this statement is grounds for the Superior Court to ignore such issues.

This statement is then reviewed by the lower court and may result in a response from the lower court justifying its decision. Such a response is forwarded to the Superior Court for further review along with the briefs of the parties.

Although the 1925(b) statement is relatively simple to prepare it must be done with the knowledge that it is an important part of the appellate process, and failure to complete it adequately could result in waiver of appellate issues.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

FBI admits it overstated expert evidence for over two decades.

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’slargest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.
The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

Wow, simply wow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sexual assault cases and disclosure of victims and alleged offenders.

Pocono Mountain Regional Police arrested a 19-year-old Pocono Summit man on April 10 and charged him with statutory sexual assault, according to a police report sent out on Friday.

The press has taken a position that it will not reveal the names of sexual assault victims in news stories, but it has no such prohibition on the names of the alleged offenders. Alleged sexual assault offenders, who have yet to be convicted of a crime, face severe ostracization from the rest of society, including loss of employment. While first amendment issues obviously prevent a prohibition on revealing the names of those involved in sexual assault cases, it would be nice if the press would consider the privacy of those who have not been convicted of such a crime from being released to the public.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Monroe County Family Law Section - 4.10.15 topics covered.

Today was the first monthly lunch meeting of the Monroe County Family Law Section. We covered some interesting topics and had some great food.

Here is the link to a newspaper article about the New York case we discussed at today's lunch - 

Thanks again to everyone for attending. The next lunch will be May 8th, 2015 at noon at the Willowtree. If anyone has any ideas for topics to discuss feel free to post here or email me and I can prep copies of cases or handouts. Feel free to invite any other family law attorneys who practice in Monroe County, membership in the Monroe County bar is not required, nor is physical office presence in Monroe. It's open to anyone who shows up at the Courthouse for any of the varied family law cases. 

Many thanks to the Monroe County Bar Association for helping set this up, as well as to the Willowtree Inn for hosting us.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Monroe County Family Law Section

Tomorrow, April 10th, at noon at the Willowtree Inn, 601 Ann Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 will be the first lunch for the Monroe County Family Law Section. Any attorney practicing in family law in Monroe County is invited to attend. Attorneys working in divorce, custody, adoption, dependency, support - all are welcome.

The first meeting will be an organizational one to set up the meetings going forward. Masters and conciliators are welcome to attend this initial meeting.

I have also started a google groups listserve for us which can be accessed at monroe-county-family-law-attorneys@googlegroups.com It is a private group so you must be approved for membership, just shoot me an email at taxeljones@gmail.com if you're interested. We've had good success with this format at the Criminal Law Section meetings so I hope this one is as popular.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Medical marijuana in Pennsylvania: Eventually...

HARRISBURG (AP) — Prosecutors and police are telling Pennsylvania legislators strict regulatory controls are critical in any medical marijuana law to ensure that it doesn't compound the problem of recreational marijuana use.
Spokesmen for three law-enforcement groups shared that message in testimony Wednesday before what was billed as a fact-finding hearing of the House Health and Judiciary committees.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, speaking for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, says legislators must ensure that the right people are prescribing, distributing and receiving any medical form of marijuana.
James Walsh of the state lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, says police agencies are concerned that Pennsylvania may endorse the use of marijuana as a pain relief while the federal government says it has "no current medical use."

Not surprising that the law enforcement agencies came out in favour of "strict controls." I'm looking for confirmation but it doesn't appear there was anyone on the other side of the issue before the Judiciary Committee. Medical Marijuana is nearly a foregone conclusion. The only questions is will PA have a disastrous system similar to our ridiculous state liquor store system or will the Commonwealth embrace freedom and individual choice.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The structure of the PA court system

Former MDJ Whitesell* of Mountainhome, PA, who retired last year, would often offer an impromptu description of the PA Court system to litigants waiting in his courtroom when the parties weren't ready to proceed or when attorneys were outside the courtroom making last minute negotiations. His 15 minute primer on the system was a comfortable way to introduce laymen to the process and probably eased a lot of stress. I don't know if it was ever recorded but it should have been and offered for viewing in primary schools.

Taking the cue from him, the Court system breaks down with the MDJ Courts (Magisterial District Courts) forming the first order of Courts where a litigant (whether civil or criminal in nature) enters the justice system. Civil cases with relatively low-dollar value claims start here, as do almost all criminal cases for a preliminary hearing. MDJ Courts are not a court of record, meaning no official court reporter appears to keep track of what everyone says, but it is not uncommon to find one hired by either party to appear.

Should the case not be resolved at the MDJ level it proceeds to the Court of Common Pleas. Here is where civil cases seeking significant monetary awards start, and where appeals from MDJ civil cases proceed. Criminal cases that were bound over also appear here. Almost all Family Law cases begin at the Court of Common Pleas.This is where parties are often entitled to a jury trial, although in some cases there are mandatory arbitration civil cases and some criminal cases are bench trials - meaning the Judge takes the place of the Jury in addition to his/her normal role.

Should either party be dissatisfied with the result at the Court of Common Pleas the case proceeds to an appellate court. This gets somewhat complicated  as there are actually two different branches of appellate courts. The first is the Superior Court, this is where most appeals are directed to. Criminal appeals, civil cases involving individuals, and many other types of cases are directed here. The second is the Commonwealth Court, this is where only specialized types of appeals are directed to. For example, cases involving actions against or by government agencies go here. More on this specialized court at a later date.

Finally, there is the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Appeals from either the Superior Court or the Commonwealth Court wind up here. Unlike the lower appellate courts, however, one must first ask permission to get to the Supreme Court. Generally the case has to involve a novel matter that hasn't been previously litigated in Pennsylvania for the Court to hear the case.

In some cases the matter can be further appealed to the federal level, which is a topic for another day as this is quite rare.

* http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20130304/News/303040326?template=printart

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Arresting Robots?

Excellent article over at Reason.com. http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/03/roombas-in-the-big-house

Perhaps our legal system can assuage these fears somewhat. "Criminal law plays an important role in giving people a sense of personal confidence," Hallevy writes. "If any individual or group is not subject to the criminal law, the personal confidence of the other individuals is severely harmed because those who are not subject to the criminal law have no incentive to obey the law." But if we understand that drug-buying bots and self-driving cars must abide by the same rules we all follow, and face similar punishments when they transgress, perhaps some of our anxieties about their potential behavior will dissipate.
Is this perspective fair to robots, though? Essentially, it puts them on the same level as people, even though they're clearly not human. The robot that killed Robert Williams in 1979 had no conception of morality. Neither did the ecstasy-buying bot.
In Hallevy's estimation, such concerns are unfounded. "Criminal liability does not require that offenders possess all human capabilities, only some," he writes. "If an AI entity possesses these capabilities, then logically and rationally, criminal liability can be imposed whenever an offense is committed."
Are Robots and robotic machinations to be held to the same standard of criminal culpability as humans? Can they be convicted of a crime? Who is responsible if a drunk person is in a cab driven by a robot?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jury for a Coroner's Inquest

Monroe County on Tuesday picked a jury for its first coroner's inquest in 30 years, according to County Coroner Bob Allen, at the county courthouse in Stroudsburg.
Six regular and two alternate jurors were picked from a pool of more than 20 residents to hear and rule on suspicious circumstances surrounding the Dec. 27 death of William Collins, 92, who lived with his caregiver in A Pocono Country Place, Coolbaugh Township. The jury of six men and two women in mid-April will hear witness testimony and see visual evidence presented.
The jury will then deliberate to give an unbiased opinion as to Collins' cause and manner of death and, if it's believed to be a homicide, who likely committed that homicide. The jury's opinion must be unanimous.
The Coroner's Office in more normal situations determines cause and manner of death. For example, "cause" would be listed as "gunshot wound" and "manner" as "homicide" or "suicide" on the death certificate.

It is indeed rare, especially in Monroe County, to request a Coroner's Inquest to determine whether criminal charges should be filed, but it does occasionally happen.

Friday, March 6, 2015

"Barrett man convicted in child porn case"


After a two-hour deliberation, a jury Friday convicted Nathan Sauers, 35, of Barrett Township, on 10 counts of possessing child pornography, 10 counts of distributing child pornography and one count of criminally using a communication facility.
Sauers had posted on $20,000 bail after his Aug. 12, 2013, arrest on charges, but upon his conviction Friday was placed back in Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail modified to $100,000 by County Court Judge Jon Mark.
District Attorney's Office detectives had charged Sauers of downloading multiple child porn images between Aug. 4 and Aug. 8, 2013.
The defense and prosecution presented closing arguments Friday morning, prior to jury deliberation.
Attorney Brad Weidenbaum, who with attorney Axel Jones is representing Sauers, said there was reasonable doubt as to who in the Sauers household was using the computer, whether any child porn was in fact downloaded to the computer and, if so, whether there was in fact intent to download child porn. Software programs like the one Sauers used are notoriously virus-prone and can download files containing material not wanted by the user, Weidenbaum said.

Split verdict...

Nathan Robert Sauers was convicted today of 10 counts of dissemination of child pornography, 10 counts of possession of child pornography, and 1 count of unlawful use of a communications device. However, he was acquitted of 70 other counts of possession of child pornography. He faces sentencing in May as well as an assessment as to whether he would qualify as a sexually violent predator.

To be clear, he was not charged with or convicted of producing any child pornography, and the counts that did result in a conviction were unambiguously shown to be the effect of downloading a bit torrent like program and not properly securing his computer.

I have had the honour of working with Attorney Bradley Weidenbaum for the past year on this case and although I am disappointed in the convictions I am hopeful as to the acquittals.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawyer for a Kentucky man who spent several days in jail after posting violent song lyrics on Facebook says he should be cleared of a felony charge.
James E. Evans was charged in late August with terroristic threatening and spent several days in jail. Evans had posted the lyrics from a song by the heavy metal band Exodus that included the words, "student bodies lying dead in the halls."
Bill Sharp, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, says the case is a free speech issue. The ACLU announced Wednesday that it is representing Evans.
"At this point, we're looking to have him completely exonerated," Sharp said.
Evans was charged by a law enforcement officer for the Muhlenberg County schools, about 100 miles west of Louisville. Evans lives in the county.
County officials did not return messages seeking comment on Wednesday.
The school officer, Mike Drake, told WFIE-TV in Evansville that several agencies received calls about Evans' post, and the arrest warrant said he was taken into custody because he threatened to kill students or school staff. It was not clear what school the warrant was referring to. A phone message left for Drake was not returned Wednesday.


Drake should be fired, excommunicated and sued into bankruptcy. I try not to curse or use epithets here, but he has every indication of being an asshole.

Preparing to go back to trial...

Trial this Tuesday with attorney Bradley W. Weidenbaum, we've prepped the case as best we could. It will be a difficult case but Brad is an excellent litigator and the client could not be in better hands.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Supreme Court nominee under fire over email withdraws

HARRISBURG (AP) — A white Pennsylvania Supreme Court nominee under fire after apparently forwarding a racially insensitive email has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler said in a statement Monday that dramatic change in the county's court system left urgent matters that require his full attention.
He did not address the email showing a black couple talking through glass via a jailhouse phone under the heading, "Merry Christmas from the Johnsons."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday the email was sent to more than 20 people in December 2013.
Kistler did not immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press.
Gov. Tom Wolf nominated Kistler two weeks ago to fill a temporary spot on the seven-member court. He'd been recommended by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman of Centre County.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recommendation: Attorney Bradley W. Weidenbaum

I have worked together with Attorney Weidenbaum on several cases this past year, it seems we always get stuck together.

He is an excellent attorney. His specialties overlap with me on criminal defense and some civil litigation work. But if you need an attorney for bankruptcy he's who I would recommend at the top of the list for Monroe, Northampton, Carbon, or Lehigh counties. His office staff is helpful and kind, and he returns phone calls in a prompt manner.

Highly recommended fellow attorney.

Monroe County Criminal Defense Lawyers' Lunch for March

The March lunch for the Monroe County Criminal Defense Lawyers will be held on March 17th, at noon at the Monroe County Bar Association. We are anticipating a visit from President Judge Worthington as well as members of the District Attorney's Office. All Monroe County criminal defense lawyers are welcome. Lunch will be provided by the bar association.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meaningless action #1 by a new Governor.

(CNN)Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf halted all executions in his state Friday, citing the state's "error prone" justice system and "inherent biases" among his reasons for the moratorium.
"I take this action only after significant consideration and reflection," Wolf said Friday. "There is perhaps no more weighty a responsibility assigned to the governor than his or her role as the final check in the capital punishment process."


It's pretty easy to declare a "moratorium" on something that hasn't been done since 1999, and has no chance of being enacted in the next 4 or 6 years anyway. 

Does that mean Corbett and Rendell deserve credit for a moratorium, since no one was executed on their watch? 

Capital Punishment has not been abolished in Pennsylvania. It's just been pushed off a few years.

The annals of history.

But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain. - Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Recommendation for Real Estate in North Eastern Pennsylvania.

Joe Ruocco of Property Stars Inc., should be your first stop for Real Estate in NE PA. His office is professional and well-versed in the intricacies of Poconos property purchases. Whether it's for a residential, commercial, rental, or investment property, check with Joe first.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Unnecessarily prolonged" traffic stops for purposes of using drug sniffing dogs.

The US Supreme Court is taking up a case related to the use of a drug-sniffing dog without a search warrant during a routine traffic stop. The Court has previously ruled that this kind of police action is permissible so long as the stop is not "unnecessarily prolonged" by the use of the drug dog.

This new case, Rodriguez v. United States, will address the issue of how long is too long.
The case arose in 2012 when a Nebraska police officer, who happened to have his K-9 dog in the car with him, stopped Dennys Rodriguez for swerving once towards the shoulder of the road. After questioning Rodriguez and issuing him a written warning for that traffic infraction, the officer sought permission to walk his drug-sniffing dog around the outside of Rodriguez’s vehicle. When Rodriguez refused to grant permission, the officer made him exit the vehicle and waited for back-up to arrive. Roughly eight minutes later, with a second officer now on the scene for support, the police dog circled the vehicle and gave an “alert” for illegal drugs. A subsequent search turned up a bag of methamphetamine. 


Despite the fact that drug dogs turn up false positives as much as 74% of the time and are really nothing more than the police consciously or subconsciously motivating their dog to alert when there's absolutely nothing there, Courts continue to allow this unreliable, uncorroborated, non-uniform and un-certified practice to continue to manufacture probable cause for a search without a warrant. 
Also, the vast majority of drug dogs are allegedly trained to detect multiple illicit substances, such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana. Now that the tide across the country is rapidly moving toward legalization of marijuana the usefullness of drug dogs evaporates, as they cannot be retrained to ignore marijuana and look for other drugs instead. This would mean a massive undertaking of replacing virtually every drug dog on the force at the same time. 


At a cost of up to $50,000.00 per drug dog which will lead to a violation of your rights of up to 74% of the time this is a bad policy and use of funds. The only logical decision is to end this process. 

Do Grandparents have standing to pursue custody of a grandchild?

Attorney Joseph Caraciolo from Harrisburg has an excellent blog post up on the complexities involved in grandparents filing for custody.
"Does Grandmother who has been involved in her Grandchild’s life since birth, who has been a babysitter and substantially aided in raising the child, including periods when the Mother and Child lived with her, but has not had custody of the child have standing to bring a claim for primary physical custody?  The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently reviewed the requirements for a Grandparent’s standing to bring an action for custody for a Grandchild in the case of D.G. and D.G. v. D.B. and G.D., 2014 Pa. Super. 93, filed May 2, 2014."
Read more here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Protection from Abuse - the Pennsylvania Restraining Order

Protection from abuse (PFA) orders (the Pennsylvania version of a restraining order) is an order directing a person's conduct toward another. It is commonly employed to prevent abusive conduct, harassment or other unwanted behaviour.

Unlike some other states there are only certain categories of people who are permitted to file for a PFA with the courts. This typically includes immediate family members, sexual or intimate partners, and household members. It does not extend to neighbours, co-workers, or others you do not have a personal relationship with. 23 PA.C.S.A. 6102(a).

The PFA can take many forms. The most drastic form is that of a "no contact" PFA, which means the parties are not allowed to have any contact with each other whatsoever. The order may alternatively provide that the parties may have certain specified contact - such as for custody exchanges if there are children involved - or may provide for the eviction of one party from the joint home, or provide immediate support to a dependent spouse. The court has wide discretion in how to fashion the PFA.

As the PFA is a civil matter the evidentiary standard is simply by a preponderance of the evidence. This is much lower than the criminal law standard of beyond any reasonable doubt.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sexual Offender Moral Panic

Pennsylvania statute 42 Pa.C.S. 9799.32(1) creates a three tier system for sexual offender registration. The tiers require different time periods for registration and are based on the severity of the crime allegedly committed. 

The first tier requires a 15 year sex offender registration. This means the person must register their address with the state police and if they plan to move will have to update same. The person will be put on a publicly available website and their criminal history check will flag him/her as a sex offender. Crimes included under the first tier are lower level sex offenses, such as:
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 2902(b) (relating to Unlawful Restraint).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 2903(b) (relating to False Imprisonment).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 2904 (relating to Interference with Custody of Children).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 2910 (relating to Luring a Child into a Motor Vehicle or Structure).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a) (relating to Institutional Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(1) (relating to Indecent Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 6301(a)(1)(ii) (relating to Corruption of Minors).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312(d) (relating to Sexual Abuse of Children).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 7507.1. (relating to Invasion of Privacy).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1801 (relating to Video Voyeurism).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4) (relating to Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252A (relating to Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252B (relating to Misleading Domain Names on the Internet).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252C (relating to Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a) (relating to Coercion and Enticement).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b), and (c) (relating to Transportation of Minors).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2424 (relating to Filing Factual Statement about Alien individual).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2425 (relating to Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information about a Minor).
Second tier offenses require a 25 year registration and include:
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3011(b) (relating to Trafficking in Individuals).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(a)(2) (relating to Statutory Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a.2) and (a.3) (relating to Institutional Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) or (8) (relating to Indecent Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 5902(b.1) (relating to Prostitution and related Offenses).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 5903(a)(3)(ii), (4)(ii), (5)(ii) or (6) (relating to Obscene and other Sexual Materials and Performances).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312(b) and (c)(relating to the Sexual Abuse of Children).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 6318 (relating to Unlawful Contact with Minor).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 6320 (relating to Sexual Exploitation of Children).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1591 (relating to Sex Trafficking of Children by Force, Fraud, or Coercion).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2243 (relating to Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Ward).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2244 (relating to Abusive Sexual Contact) where the victim is 13 years of age or older but under 18 years of age.
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251 (relating to Sexual Exploitation of Children).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251A (relating to Selling or Buying of Children).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(1), (2) or (3) (relating to Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2260 (relating to Production of Sexually Explicit Depictions of a Minor for Importation into the United States).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2421 (relating to Transportation Generally).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b) (relating to Coercion and Enticement).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a) (relating to Transportation of Minors).
Anyone convicted of a third tier offense is subject to a lifetime registration. Offenses under the third tier include:
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 2901(a.1) (relating to Kidnapping).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3121 (relating to Rape).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(b) (relating to Statutory Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3123 (relating to Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1 (relating to Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2(a.1) (relating to Institutional Sexual Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125 (relating to Aggravated Indecent Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126(a)(7) (relating to Indecent Assault).
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 4302(b) (relating to Incest).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2241 (relating to Aggravated Sexual Abuse).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2242 (relating to Sexual Abuse).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2244 where the victim is under 13 years of age (relating to Abusive Sexual Contact).
Juveniles can also be subject to registration if they are adjudicated under similar charges. 

In addition to registration, the subject also must report in person to the police on an ongoing and regular basis for questioning. It can be as limited as once a year for tier one subjects or as much as four times a year for tier three offenders. 

Although the concern over sexual offenders is understandable, it is not based on logic or rational thought, but on an emotional response to how horrifying the thought of sexual violence is. The overall rate of sexual violence has declined significantly even in just the last 20 years. 

The spectre of online child predation is also overblown in relation to the actual threat level. 
The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.
A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/technology/internet/14cyberweb.html
Additionally, the recent moral panic about college rape is also ridiculous and unsupported by evidence, as a college campus is a far safer environment for young women than other locations. 
“Non-student females are victims of violence at rates 1.7 times greater than are college females... Even if the definition of violence were limited to sexual assaults, these crimes are more pervasive for young adult women who are not in college. http://tva.sagepub.com/content/15/3/159.abstract [emphasis added]
Many jurisdictions are even seeking to lower the burden of proof for a finding of "guilt" on college campuses. Such actions do a great disservice to everyone who can be accused of a criminal act. 

Finally, the off-repeated myth that sexual offenders are more likely to reoffend is also not supported by evidence. In fact, aside of murder, sex offenses are the least likely to be repeated. 
Persons who commit sex offenses are not a homogeneous group, but instead fall into several different categories. As a result, research has identified significant differences in reoffense patterns from one category to another. Looking at reconviction rates alone, one large-scale analysis (Hanson and Bussiere, 1998) reported the following differences:

  • child molesters had a 13% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 37% reconviction rate for new, non-sex offenses over a five year period; and
  • rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 46% reconviction rate for new, non-sexual offenses over a five year period.
  • It is noteworthy that recidivism rates for sex offenders are lower than for the general criminal population. For example, one study of 108,580 non-sex criminals released from prisons in 11 states in 1983 found that nearly 63% were rearrested for a non-sexual felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of their release from incarceration; 47% were reconvicted; and 41% were ultimately returned to prison or jail (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
    Sexual assault is a terrible crime, which requires serious punishment. But decisions as to how to deal with such acts must be based on fact and reason, not on emotional judgments.