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Sex crimes and sentencing under Megan's Law

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Gettysburg, PA - C.B. plead guilty to certain sexual crimes prior to Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini's involvement in his case. He was awaiting sentencing pending the outcome of the mandatory evaluation by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board (SOAB).

The family of C.B. sought the help of attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini when the SOAB provided a report to the Commonwealth with their determination that C.B. met the criteria of a certain crimes The Commonwealth filed notice that it would seek to have C.B. classified as an SVP based upon the recommendation of the SOAB examiner. Attorney Pasqualini secured the services of an expert witness who conducted his own evaluation and determined that C.B. did not meet the criteria of an SVP and that the SOAB examiner employed a faulty, unscientific method to reach his conclusion. Her expert provided a written report of his findings which was submitted to the Commonwealth prior to the scheduled SVP determination hearing. Prior to the hearing, the Commonwealth notified Ms. Pasqualini that they agreed with her expert and would be withdraw their motion to have C.B. classified as a Sexually Violent Predator.

In Pennsylvania, certain crimes carry mandatory lifetime Megan's law registration requirements, others for periods of 10 years. Classification as an SVP has even greater consequences. These include quarterly verification of employment, residence, and school. More significantly, notice of the sexually violent predator's presence is provided to neighbors of the sexually violent predator who live or work within 250 feet of the predator's residence or the 25 most immediate residences and places of employment in proximity to the predator's residence, whichever is greater. Notice is provided to the director of the county children and youth service agency of the county where the predator resides, the superintendent of each school district and the equivalent official for private and parochial schools enrolling students up through grade 12 in the municipality where the predator resides, the superintendent of each school district and the equivalent official for each private and parochial school located within a one-mile radius of where the sexually violent predator resides, the licensee of each certified day care center and licensed preschool program and owner/operator of each registered family day care home in the municipality where the sexually violent predator resides, and the president of each college, university and community college located within 1,000 feet of the predator's residence.

When convicted (after a plea or trial) the SOAB conducts an evaluation to determine whether their examiner believes the person meets the criteria to be categorized as an SVP. When the examiner provides such a recommendation, the Commonwealth seeks to have the sentencing judge find the defendant to be an SVP.

A person facing this designation need not merely accept the recommendation of an examiner paid by the Commonwealth to make the evaluation, and paid again by the Commonwealth to appear in court to testify. The ramifications of an SVP designation are severe and lifelong. It is important to seek out the assistance of experienced counsel when faced with such a designation. The attorneys at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC  will fight to protect you.  Contact us by logging onto our website or toll free 1-866-765-0706.  Speak to experienced counsel today.

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