PA: Constitutional right or crime? Case of alleged harassment of sex offender’s family heads to court

[ – 4/9/19]

A father and son from Freemansburg accused of harassing the family of a sex offender are headed to Northampton County Court on their respective criminal charges.

James Forte Sr. and James Forte Jr., who both live in 200 block of Juniata Street in the borough, had their preliminary hearings Tuesday in front of District Judge Nicholas Englesson.

Following testimony from the victim and a borough police officer, Englesson sent all the charges to county court, where the pair now face possible trial.

Father and son accused of harassing family of sex offender

The father allegedly printed out copies of a news article about the man, and then placed them on vehicles in the neighborhood, police said.

Defense attorney Anthony Rybak, who represented Forte Sr., said his client had been willing to plead guilty to a summary count of harassment, in exchange for the stalking charge to be dropped. After the hearing, Rybak said the father’s case will be going to trial.

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Father and son accused of harassing family of sex offender


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This could be a tough case for the State to win. It all depends on the extent of the men’s activities–though papa can be nailed for putting stuff in mailboxes, which is against Federal law. IMO, if a church expressing all sorts of anti-homosexual thoughts and words at veterans’ funerals and if burning a cross in an African-American’s yard are protected speech, how can yelling something at someone not be? In fact, if it’s not I suspect we’re all in trouble with the law for yelling at someone in traffic, at a sporting event, etc.
To me, it will depend on the duration and intent. Once sonny-boy made direct threats of harm, he certainly crossed the line into (using SCOTUS parlance) “fighting words.” But before? Based on the article, I’m not so sure.

But why bother with all this anyway? It’s all just collateral consequences, right?

Whatever the law states, we all inherently know that this is harassment and very wrong. Also, if I’m reading it correctly the harasser has had other run-ins with the law so he has some serious anger issues and should be instructed to cease as his anger is a recurring problem. Again, if a person serves their time and meets all requirements levied on them then they are supposedly able to put their past behind them. As the last two presidents have stated, “America is a land of second chances”–isn’t it?

Pa megans law website states you can not use megans law to harrass so’s. Love to see them nailed on that.

Hmmm…. so if, after hearing the threats directed at her and her family, Mrs. Hess steps out the front door and shoots Junior dead, can she use “transient anger” as her defense??
Or would that be the more specific subcategory: “transient anger with resulting permanent effect” ?? 😆😆😆

Well after reading these notes I sure think that RSOs need to start suing for harrassment, and civil penalties, and putting RSO in danger of others. To me I look at Registry as a HATE CRIME against RSO because they are the only people that are put on registry and to be followed with a eye of others.