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PA: Reaching back in time to charge adults for youth offenses

James is a registered sex offender.

He was convicted in 2016 of felony statutory sexual assault when he was 23 years old for sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl, according to court records.

His name will appear on the Pennsylvania sex offender registry for nearly another decade and he will carry a felony conviction for the rest of his life.

Anytime James applies for a job, housing or school that requires a background check, his potential employer, landlord or college will know that he carries a child sexual assault conviction.

If James has children he will never be able to help out in class, volunteer to lead his child’s Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop or coach their sports teams.

But there’s a catch.

James was 12 when he committed his offense and, according to police, he was no older than 13 when the assaults ended.

It took 10 years for police to bring charges against James. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Bill

    Liberal state shooting fish in a barrel for next years election, vote those idiots out.

    • Michael

      You’re a clown, Bill. Rightists, like those who control the PA General Assembly, are most responsible for sex offender registry laws. If you took the time to do a search, you’d find countless articles with headlines like, “Senate Democrats Block Bill to Toughen Sex Offender Registry,” and “CA Governor Vetoes Eight Sex Offender Bills.” In my America it’s the Rightists who like to tout how they are “tough on crime,” Not the Democrats.

      Does Bill know who was in control of the PA General Assembly when the statute of limitations law was amended in PA?

      Facts matter, Bill.

  2. Laura

    This person was a child who did not repeat this crime in over 10 years and still was charged with a felony? I’m speechless.

    • BM

      @Laura

      Exactly same scenario here, though it was 16 years later. College degree, graduate school attendee, home owner, productive member of society.. and was his age when I made a mistake. Charged as an adult in MI. It was total BS.

  3. Dustin

    Generally, criminal courts are supposed to apply the law at the time of offense, which inherently includes the circumstances as well. I’m sure Pennsylvania’s no exception.

    The article didn’t say, but I’m willing to bet he took a plea. If I had to guess, this is another case of a DA overlooking key provisions of law in order to pad his conviction stats, a judge that pretty much rubber stamps whatever the DA puts in front of him, and a public defender dying to plea out. It’s a shame, because I’m willing to bet a case like this wouldn’t have survived a jury trial.

    Also found the segment about “restorative justice” curious, in that it says victims must be on board with whatever punishments come down from their assailants. Well, what about the victims who don’t want them sent to prison, registered, or punished at all? Why is it that’s the only time when a victim’s opinion doesn’t matter?

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      Thought the same thing, had to be a plea. Must have been desperate to get out.

  4. C

    Starting off with an ad hominem attack kills anything you have to say afterward, worthwhile or not.

    You’ll be taken more seriously if you simply state your argument in a respectful manner.

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