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SORNA Has Been Recently Amended to Define Who Must Register

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Certain offenders that would have had to register under SORNA as of December 20, 2012 have now been excluded by House Bill 75, passed on July 5, 2012.  It takes the retroactivity out of the Law for many would-be registrants.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Megan's Law/SORNA Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

As I previously noted in my article on May 5, 2012, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA") created a three tier system to register sex offenders on a federal level.  (See link to that article).  Under the PA law passed to effectuate SORNA on December 20, 2011, an offender who had a prior conviction at any time in the past would have to register under SORNA.  The recent change to the statute changes the blanket retroactivity.  It now provides that only those individuals who were either convicted or adjudicated of a predicate offense under SORNA on or after the effective date of the statute have to register.


•· SORNA requires individuals to register as sex if convicted of a "Tier" offense.

•· There are more SORNA offenses than current Megan's Law Offenses.

•· The chart below lists all of the "Tier" offenses numerically by statute ("X" indicates which tier corresponds to the offense). For some offenses, only certain subsections trigger SORNA registration. In those instances, the subsections or factual basis are written on the chart.

•· The tier and applicability provisions become effective on DECEMBER 20, 2012.

•· This chart has been updated to reflect the amendments to SORNA signed into law on July 5, 2012. Act 91-2012 (H.B. 75).  Chart reproduced from PA Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.


OFFENSES § 9799.14


Tier I (15 yrs)

Tier II (25 yrs)

Tier III (Life)

Kidnapping 18Pa.C.S.§2901



(§ 2901(a.1): kidnapping of a minor)

Unlawful Restraint 18 Pa.C.S. §2902


(§ 2902(b): minor complainant; offender not parent or guardian)


False Imprisonment 18 Pa.C.S.§903


(§ 2903(b): minor complainant; offender not parent or guardian)


Interference with Custody of Children 18 Pa.C.S.§2904



Luring child into a MV 18 Pa.C.S.§2910



Rape 18 Pa.C.S.§3121



Statutory Sex Assault 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1



(§ 3122.1(a)(2):

"Eight years older but less than 11 years older than the complainant")


(§ 3122.1(b): "11 or more years older than the complainant")

IDSI 18 Pa.C.S. § 3123



Sexual Assault

18 Pa.C.S.§3124.1



Inst. Sex Assault

18 Pa.C.S.§ 3124.2


(§ 3124.2(a))


(§§ 3124.2(a.2-a.3))


(§ 3124.2(a.1))

Agg. Indecent Assault 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125



Indecent Assault 18 Pa.C.S.§3126


(§ 3126 (a)(1): M2)


(§§ 3126(a)(2-6),(8))


(§ 3126 (a)(7))

Incest 18 Pa.C.S.§4302



(§ 4302(b): of a minor)

Promoting Prostitution of a Minor

(18 Pa.C.S. § 5902)



(§ 5902(b.1))


Obscene materials, minor complainant(18 Pa.C.S. §§ 5903)



(§§ 5903(a)(3)(ii),4(ii), 5(ii),(6))


Corruption of Minors 18 Pa.C.S.§6301


(§ 6301(a)(1)(ii): F3)


Sexual abuse of children 18 Pa.C.S.§6312


(§ 6312(d))


(§§ 6312 (b),(c))


Unlawful Contact with Minor

18 Pa.C.S.§6318




Sexual Exploitation of Children

18 Pa.C.S. § 6320




Invasion of Privacy

18 Pa.C.S.§ 7507.1



Federal Offenses

A list of federal crimes.

A list of federal crimes.

Three federal crimes.

Multiple Convictions


"Two or more convictions of offenses listed as Tier I or Tier II sexual offenses."

If you have questions about the application of SORNA or Megan's Law to you or your case, you may contact the attorneys at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.


Hello. Can you clarify what the Act (HR 75) has changed. I tried reading the bill numerous times, but it is so confusing. If you are not under custody (incarceration/parole/probation/registry) The law no longer applies? Meaning if you were a 10 year offender and you maxed off the registry, you will not be going back on...Correct? Was there anything else I missed?

Regarding Adam Walsh, does the corruption of minor m1(a)(1) apply to Adam Walsh or is it the m1(a)(1)(ii) that only applies?

Thank you

I'm on means law now. started in 2008. does the 15 yrs include what I have served or start from scratch?

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