Sex crimes are some of the harshest charges a person can face in Pennsylvania. They often bring with them devastating, life-altering consequences. In addition to long prison sentences, people convicted of sex crimes in Pennsylvania face the prospect of having to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law for the rest of their lives.
If you have been charged with or are even being investigated for a sex crime in Allentown, it is essential that you retain a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you avoid facing the most serious penalties. Our Allentown, PA sex crimes attorneys at Young Marr & Associates have years of experience fighting sex crime charges on behalf of our clients and helping to bring their cases to positive resolutions. Call us today at (215) 372-8667 to speak with an attorney about your case.
Types of Sex Crimes in Allentown
There are a lot of different charges that fall under the umbrella term of “sex crimes.” Most of these charges are felonies, which means that they are taken extremely seriously by the police and the court system. The below list is not exhaustive but details some of the most common sex crimes charged in Pennsylvania.
Rape is probably the most serious sex crime that a person can face. Under the statute, the definition of rape is when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the following circumstances:
- By way of force
- By threat of force
- If the other person is unconscious
- Where the other person has been drugged or otherwise intoxicated without their consent or
- Where the other person suffers from a mental disability that prevents them from giving consent
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is a charge similar to rape. It is defined as when, under the same circumstances listed for rape above, a person penetrates any part of the complainant’s genitals or anus with any part of their body. This charge would apply instead of rape if, for example, the person used a finger for the purpose of penetration. This charge is a second-degree felony unless the complainant is under the age of thirteen, in which case it is a first-degree felony.
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is also similar to rape and aggravated indecent assault. It is used when a type of sexual activity other than intercourse or penetration with something other than a body part is involved. For example, penetrating the complainant with a foreign object or causing oral sex under the conditions delineated under the rape section would be charged under this statute. This crime is a first-degree felony.
Indecent assault is charged when a person, under one of the circumstances listed under the rape section above, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine, or feces for the purpose of causing sexual arousal in the person. If the complainant was an adult, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor. If the complainant was a child under sixteen, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. If the complainant was a child under 13, drugged, unconscious, or mentally ill, or if any type of force was used in the assault, the charge is a third-degree felony.
Indecent exposure occurs when any person exposes their genitals in a public place or in any place where other people are present under circumstances where the person should know their conduct is likely to offend, affront, or alarm. It is typically charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. If the exposure was done in the presence of minors under 16, it is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Statutory Sexual Assault/Rape
Statutory sexual assault occurs when an adult of a certain age has sexual relations with a minor under the age of 16, even if the minor consented. It is charged as a second-degree felony if you are more than 4 years older but less than 11 years older than the complainant. If you are more than 11 years older than the complainant, it will be charged as a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Allentown, PA
Most of these charges are felonies, but a few are misdemeanors. Furthermore, for some sex crimes, there are additional statutory penalties if the crime is committed under certain circumstances. For example, if you rape a child under 13 and cause serious bodily injury, you can be sentenced to life in prison.
Convictions for rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and aggravated indecent assault of a minor come with a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
- Prison term up to 20 years
- Prison term of up to 10 years
- Prison term of up to 7 years
- Prison term up to 5 years
- Prison term up to 2 years
Mandatory Registration for Sex Offenders in Allentown under Megan’s Law
Persons convicted of certain sexual offenses in the state of Pennsylvania are required to register as a sex offender with their local police department. Depending on the severity of your sex crime, your information may be listed on a website for the public to view. Information on the site includes your picture, name, address, license plate number of any vehicle you own, and the offense that triggered your registration. The local police department may also be required to notify nearby residents when you move into a new neighborhood. For many offenses, you must continue to register even if you move to a new state. Failure to properly register can be charged as a separate criminal offense.
Contact Our Allentown, PA Sex Crime Attorneys Today
Penalties for a sex crime conviction are very harsh, and you may be sentenced to many years in prison. Furthermore, if your offense qualifies as serious enough, you will be required to register as a sex offender and your personal information will be published on a website for all your friends and neighbors to see. The consequences to your reputation and your livelihood can be devastating. At Young Marr & Associates, our Allentown, PA sex crimes attorneys know how to fight to get these charges dropped or downgraded to something less serious. Call us today at (215) 372-8667 for a free consultation.