Senate Passes Legislation to More Strictly Monitor Child Sexual Predators

(HARRISBURG)  — Senator Jake Corman (R-Centre) voted this week for legislation that would improve the state’s efforts to track and prosecute sex offenders, and make Pennsylvania part of a national sex offender registry. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Corman said Senate Bill 1183 would bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, part of the federal Adam Walsh Act.  Pennsylvania must bring its law into “substantial compliance” or suffer a 10 percent reduction in federal crime protection grants.

“By establishing a coordinated, uniform national sex offender registry, this bill will help to protect our children and more carefully monitor sexual predators,” Corman said.  “It also provides more information to law enforcement officials and sets tougher penalties for offenders who fail to register and keep their information current.”

In addition to establishing a national system for the registration of convicted sex offenders, the amended legislation:

  • Increases the amount of information collected from each offender and requires Pennsylvania to include more information on its Internet website.  In addition, Pennsylvania State Police would be required to communicate registration information with federal, state and local police departments more quickly than they currently do.
  • Extends the registration requirement to juvenile offenders who commit rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit these offenses.
  • Expands the list of sexually violent offenses subject to the law and groups offenders into multiple classifications, depending on the severity of the offense.
  • Recaptures back into Megan’s Law offenders with prior convictions for sexual offenses but not currently subject to registration, if the offender re-enters the criminal justice system because of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year.

The bill also requires notification to the federal government if the offender intends to travel abroad and requires transient sexual offenders to register and update their registration information.