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PA: Woman charged with not revealing sex offender’s whereabouts

Though it’s unclear if a woman knew before police told her that the man she married is a convicted sex offender wanted for allegedly not registering his whereabouts as the law requires, police charged her Wednesday with knowing and not revealing his whereabouts. Full Article

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  1. AlexO

    Wait, did I read it correct that him being married is against the law due to his registration? How is that even remotely legal?

    • ma.concerned.citizen

      I have a feeling it’s in reference to him being mentioned on Social Media. Maybe he was tagged in a FB post, meaning he has a FB account. Not that it makes it right, but makes more “sense” in reference to the article. But, honestly who knows what f’d up laws are out there!

    • TG

      I had the same thought. The reporter did a bad job of (not) explaining that.

    • AJ

      It does seem to read that way, which would be a blatant liberty-interest deprivation. I wonder if perhaps the “journalist” messed up who was on social media, and the journalist and/or police don’t get that Packingham struck down any such law.

      That aside, there do seem to be some hi-jinks going on with this couple. But, keep in mind how often these stories have flaws and falsehoods, especially when coming from smaller media outlets.

    • Lake County

      “police saw Bergamino’s social media post about her and Miller’s plans to marry, which violates his sex offender registration requirements”.

      The violation may have been him posting to a social media website.

      • AlexO

        I had to re-read that a few times, but that sentence does refer to the woman making the FB post, not the RC man. So either the law is super messed up that doesn’t allow RC’s to marry, or that sentence is structured very poorly and doesn’t mean how it reads.

  2. Nondescript

    This is actually part of SORNA requirements and is written into many States sex offender statutes. Pennsylvania law say:

    PC3130. Conduct relating to sex offenders.
    (a) Offense defined.–A person commits a felony of the third
    degree if the person has reason to believe that a sex offender
    is not complying with or has not complied with the requirements
    of the sex offender’s probation or parole, imposed by statute or
    court order, or with the registration requirements of 42 Pa.C.S.
    § 9795.2 (relating to registration procedures and
    applicability), and the person, with the intent to assist the
    sex offender in eluding a law enforcement agent or agency that
    is seeking to find the sex offender to question the sex offender
    about, or to arrest the sex offender for, noncompliance with the
    requirements of the sex offender’s probation or parole or the
    requirements of 42 Pa.C.S. § 9795.2:
    (1) withholds information from or does not notify the
    law enforcement agent or agency about the sex offender’s
    noncompliance with the requirements of parole, the
    requirements of 42 Pa.C.S. § 9795.2 or, if known, the sex
    offender’s whereabouts;
    (2) harbors or attempts to harbor or assist another
    person in harboring or attempting to harbor the sex offender;
    (3) conceals or attempts to conceal, or assists another
    person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sex
    offender; or
    (4) provides information to the law enforcement agent or
    agency regarding the sex offender which the person knows to
    be false.

    So basically, anyone close to to a registrant is suppose to know all the sex offender requirements , keep abreast of any changes in the laws and be part of the monitoring scheme or else they could be headed for prison too.

    • AlexO

      So not only is the registry itself and the people on it are toeing borderline of unconstitutional (well, as far as some courts are concerned), this seems like they’re now almost applying this to people who have zero legal issues but are in the inner circle of the RC. Then again, this seems similar to harboring a criminal in general.

      The article did make it seem like they were lying and colluding.

      • And the plot thickens.....

        Given he missed a court date, he was technically a criminal wanted most likely. The marriage story seems shifty at best and the cops could have merely said they were looking for him on the missed court date and left it at that. Making her have legal issues is a play to draw him out obviously where they will drop charges against her because she probably doesn’t know of the PA SO law stating she has to know all that crap.

    • AJ

      @Nondescript
      Naw, not really. It all depends on how close one is to the RC and how well, or even if, they can prove scienter. It would be an easy defense–if one were even to speak–to say, “I had no reason to believe the RC was in violation. Furthermore, I have neither reason to check the ML site to see if s/he is registered, nor can the State compel me to do so. I am under no obligation to police this person.” Maybe have an attorney say it for you… 🙂

    • Lake County

      “does not notify the law enforcement agent or agency about the sex offender’s
      noncompliance with the requirements of parole”

      So anyone we know must act as law enforcement and report any violation a sex offender might have committed? Does that expose the reporting person to any civil liabilities if they make a mistake of what they report to law enforcement?

      • I think you may be right....

        You would think huh? If it is a bitter family member, that could make for awkward holidays if they’re wrong when reporting it.

  3. stephen

    This is just like hiding a run away Slave or Jew. Likely will have the same outcome. GUILTY.

  4. kind of living

    Nazi Germany in our face , only thing missing is the funny little hat , and even if it dose draw him out they will at the very least fine her , that’s just how it works in the Midwest , just so all that’s paying attention get the message that they will come after you if you don’t tell the on duty snitch , , our familys and friends have been under fire for some time now , sure some of us brake the law or what ever , but for our familys to have to know or make heads or tails out of the Registry laws is over the top , mister Nazi cops are not always peoples friends , and its not RC’s that have made it that way , bad cops ,courts , over bearing laws , are part of the problem , if we the people have to take responsibility , then the people that work for us should have much more over sight , I have never known a person that had cops jam there wife up and put them in jail that would not only be worried about there well being but really angry , that being said ,if this guy knew the cops were looking for him he should have turned him self in ,

  5. David

    [*sarcastic*] So let me get this right: Family and friends of anyone convicted of a sex offense, you had better steer clear of that person so you yourself won’t get brought up on felony charges for not knowing what L.E. says you should have known and reported. We put these scary RSOs on a list and you had better stay clear of them or you’ll be sorry! And don’t give me that crap about “helping them re-enter the community and become a contributing member of society”!
    Now, if convicted, does the fiance herself become a convicted sex offender since she’s being charged with violating a SORNA requirement??

    But what I really want to know is if similar laws exist to forcefully punish the friends and family of drunk drivers? Meth makers? Gang-bangers? And does L.E. pursue those infractions with the same zeal…. or only laws pertaining to sex offenders?

    PA’s Supreme Court needs to bend over those damn lawmakers and shove PA’s SORNA Laws “where the Sun don’t shine”!

    • Nondescript

      @David

      The answer to your question is nope.

      Most ordinary citizens people are under no legal obligation to report a crime, whether they had knowledge about it in advance, witnessed its commission, or found out about it afterwards.

      Aiding and abetting is a different matter and you must have:

      1) Known the perpetrator’s illegal plan,
      2) Intentionally encouraged and/or facilitated that plan, and
      3) Aided, promoted, or instigated in the crime’s commission.

      I think you can be charged with a felony for willfully concealing the commission of a felony federal offense, but only if asked about it by a Federal investigator.
      But yeah, only friends and family members of ex sex offenders get this distinction ( in some SORNA States), because remember, every person caught and arrested, has at least 100-1000 prior victims that the families should have known about!

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