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Bill Would Subject Sex Traffickers to Megan’s Law, Regardless of Victims’ Ages

Bill Would Subject Sex Traffickers to Megan's Law, Regardless of Victims' Ages


The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering a bill that would make conviction of adult sex trafficking a ground for placement on the Megan’s Law Registry, which is currently limited to sex offenses against minors.

Senate Bill 118, if it passes, would expand the law to require registration no matter the age of the victims. Proponents of the bill argue that requiring sex offender registration for those who traffic adults, not just minors, would reduce crime. The bill’s detractors point to research showing that forcing people to register as sex offenders has not reduced recidivism nor has it reduced the number of victims.

If SB 118 passes, it would add the following sex trafficking offenses to the tier system that now controls Megan’s Law registration and reporting requirements:

  • Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude would become a Tier 1 offense.
  • Placing someone in involuntary sexual servitude would become a Tier 2 offense.

Sex trafficking of minors is already subject to Megan’s Law.

Pennsylvania classifies sex offenders into these three tiers, with increasing levels of restrictions:

  • Tier 1 offenses require the offender to remain on the registry for 15 years and report annually to the state police. Examples of Tier 1 offenses include coercion and enticement, corruption of a minor, luring a child and various other lower-level sex crimes.
  • Tier 2 offenses require 25 years of registration and reporting every six months. Tier 2 offenses include abusive sexual contact, production of sexually explicit depictions of minors, prostitution, sexual abuse of a minor and other offenses.
  • Tier 3 offenses require a lifetime of registration and reporting every 90 days. Examples of Tier 3 offenses include incest, rape, kidnapping and indecent assault of a minor under 13 years old.

The sex trafficking bill is now tabled but consideration may be resumed when the legislature reconvenes in September.

As a criminal defense law firm that represents convicted and alleged sex offenders in Pennsylvania, we have seen firsthand how devastating it can be when a person is forced to register under Megan’s Law. It often results in job loss, difficulty finding housing and overall social alienation, which in turn can lead to commission of more crimes as the offender feels a growing sense of desperation.

Led by an attorney with more than 40 years of criminal law experience, The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia has handled multiple high-profile sex trafficking cases in state and federal courts. Our clients can count on us to build strong defenses and, if necessary, to negotiate plea bargains that lead to less severe punishments. Call us at 215-563-7100 or contact us online right away.