A good idea gone bad: How the PA Senate sabotaged the sexual abuse prevention plan

By Randall Hayes of PARSOL In September 2019, the increasingly prevalent and in-demand problem of online images of child sexual abuse (CSA) or “child pornography” rocked the Senate of Pennsylvania in a big way. The influential Chairman of the State Government Committee, Senator Mike Folmer, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography after uploading an image of an…

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PA Supreme Court sends Commonwealth v. Torsilieri back to local court

Originally published at parsol.org; reprinted in full with permission. By Josiah . . . The PA Supreme Court (SCOPA) filed their opinions on Com. v. George Torsilieri on June 16 regarding the constitutionality of PA’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Revised Subchapter H. Mr. Torsilieri and his attorneys argued that SORNA is based on outdated legislative findings and…

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An encouraging win in Pennsylvania

By Larry . . . T.S. v. Pennsylvania State Police was just decided by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth Court is the intermediate court of appeals which leaves open the door for the state to seek review in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This case has the potential to remove a significant number of people from the state’s sex…

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PA court rules some aspects of sex offender registry constitute punishment

By Sandy . . . The case is T.S. v. Pennsylvania State Police; the decision can be viewed here. A legal representative with PARSOL — Pennsylvania Assoc. for Rational Sexual Offense Laws — stated, “[The decision] is GOOD. It will be most helpful with our push to reform how the SVP label is applied just arbitrarily . . . ”…

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PARSOL responds to Comm. v. Butler decision

By PARSOL . . . Although we at PARSOL are disappointed in the results of the PA Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Butler, which was a 7-0 unanimous decision to separate SVP’s from non-SVPs regarding registry requirements and asserting that Pennsylvania’s SORNA statute is not punishment because of the Commonwealth’s interest in protecting the public from persons with a…

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Sexually violent predator law upheld by Pa. Supreme Court

By Associate Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld laws Thursday that require offenders deemed “sexually violent predators” to undergo lifetime counseling and registration and be the subject of community notices. The requirements have the legitimate purpose of keeping the community safe and therefore do not amount to extra punishment, the court said in reversing a lower…

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Once again: Registries do not reduce or prevent sexual crime; NARSOL’s PA advocate quoted

By Joshua Vaughn . . . The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to rule on five cases this year that could change how the state treats people convicted of sex offenses, and could ease the state’s sex offense registry restrictions, commonly referred to as Megan’s Law. But in a December opinion piece, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro warned that if the court were to…

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Appeals court provides new vehicle to challenge registration

By Larry . . . We are excited to report that registrants in Pennsylvania now will have a new vehicle to challenge sex offender registration. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court handed down a precedential decision on February 27th that has the potential to be significant going forward. See Piasecki v. Court of Common Pleas,…

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In Pennsylvania, commit a sexual crime at 12, be charged at 25

By Joshua Vaughn . . . 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…

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On the registry? Do you know everything you should?

By Sandy . . . In a recent column, Dear Abby makes the unqualified statement that a person with a Level 3 or Tier 3 designation on the sexual offense registry means that the individual is “. . . the most dangerous and most likely to reoffend.” From those in the know, this drew immediate criticism and protest. In 2003,…

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