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Penalties for Sex Crimes: Pennsylvania

Effective May 1, 2012

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Crimes in Pennsylvania are either a felony or a misdemeanor. The maximum sentences are as follows:

  • Felony of the first degree: Not less than 10 and not more than 20 years imprisonment.
  • Felony of the second degree: Not less than 5 and not more than 10 years imprisonment
  • Felony of the third degree: Not less than 3 ½ and not more than 7 years imprisonment.
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree: Not less than 2 ½ and not more than 5 years imprisonment.
  • Misdemeanor of the second degree: Not less than 1 and not more than 2 years imprisonment.
  • Misdemeanor of the third degree: Not less than 6 months and not more than 1 year imprisonment.

All of these sentences can include a fine, court costs and restitution.

*All sentences apply to first offenders, only. Sentences may be increased if a defendant has a prior criminal history of convictions. The following crimes are defined in general terms. The definitions of these crimes are not intended as legal advice and you should not rely on them to make legal decisions. Any legal decisions should be made only after consultation with an attorney.

Rape

(some type of sexual intercourse with some penetration) – 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3121

This is a felony of the first degree.

  • An additional term of up to 10 years imprisonment may be added if the Defendant gives the complainant some type of substance, such as a drug, to prevent resistance.
  • Rape of a Child less than 13 years has a mandatory sentence of not less than 20 and not more than 40 years imprisonment.
  • Rape of a Child less than 13 years with serious bodily injury has a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
  • Rape of a complainant less than 16 years by forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, where the person is unconscious or unaware, or some type of drug or substance has been administered is a mandatory sentence of not less than 10 nor more than 20 years.

Statutory Sexual Assault

(sexual intercourse with persons 16 and under and not married) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3122.1

This is a felony of the second degree.

  • This law applies if a complainant is less than 16 years, not married to the defendant, and the defendant is either 4 years older but less than 8 years older than the complainant, or 8 years older but less than 11 years older than the complainant.
  • This is a felony of the first degree when there is sexual intercourse with a complainant less than 16 years, and the defendant is 11 or more years older than the complainant, and the complainant.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI)

(penetration of mouth or anus by genital or foreign object) – 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3123

This is a felony of the first degree.

  • IDSI with a complainant less than 13 years has a mandatory sentence of not less than 20 and not more than 40 years imprisonment.
  • IDSI with a complainant less than 13 years with serious bodily injury has a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
  • IDSI with a complainant less than 16 years has a mandatory sentence of not less than 10 and nor more than 20 years imprisonment.

Sexual Assault

(sexual intercourse including by mouth or anus without consent) – 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3124.1

This is a felony of the second degree.

Aggravated Indecent Assault

(penetration of genitals, mouth or anus by genital or foreign objects as stated below) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3125

This is a felony of the second degree.

  • If committed on complainant less than 16 years and defendant is 4 or more years older and not married to complainant.
  • If committed without consent, forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, person is unconscious or unaware of penetration, some type of drug or substance has been administered, or the complainant suffers from mental disability, there is a mandatory sentence of not less than 5 and not more than 10 years imprisonment.

This is a felony of the first degree.

  • For the acts listed above and the complainant is less than 16 years there is a mandatory sentence of not less than 5 and not more than 10 years imprisonment.
  • For the acts listed above and the complainant is less than 13 years not less than 10 and not more than 20 years imprisonment.

Indecent Assault

(touching genitals or intimate areas without penetration)- 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3126

This is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

  • This is a misdemeanor of the first degree when the defendant acts without the complainant’s consent, or the complainant is 16 years of age and the defendant is 4 or more years older than the complainant, and they are not married to each other, or
  • The defendant uses forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, the complainant is unconscious or the defendant knows the complainant is unaware, or some type of drug or substance has been administered.
  • This is a felony of the third degree where the complainant is less than 13 years of age and there is a course of conduct of indecent assault, or there is touching of the complainant’s sexual or intimate parts by the defendant or the sexual or intimate parts of the defendant by the complainant.

Incest

(sex with blood relationships) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §4302

This is a felony of the second degree.

Endangering the Welfare of Children

(parent, guardian, or supervisor over child violates duty to care, protect, or support) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §4304

This is a misdemeanor of the first degree unless there is a course of conduct of endangering the welfare of a child then it is a felony of the third degree.

Obscene and other sexual materials and performances

18 Pa.C.S.A. §5903

This is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

  • This is a felony of the third degree if material is disseminated to minors or admitted to a show.

Corruption of Minors

(Adult who by any acts tends to corrupt morals of person under 18 years) – 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6301

This is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

  • This is a felony of the third degree where corruption involves a sexual offense or adult helps or encourages minor to commit a crime.

Sexual Abuse of Children

(causing, permitting or photographing a child under 18 years committing or simulating a prohibited sexual act which includes various forms of intercourse or nudity) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6312

This is a felony of the second degree.

  • Disseminating, selling, distributing, etc such photos is a felony of the third degree.
  • It is a felony of the third degree where there is viewing or possessing a child performing or simulating prohibited sexual acts.

Unlawful Contact with a Minor

(direct or indirect contact with person under 18 years for sexual purposes including various forms of intercourse or indecent contact, prostitution, obscene materials, pornography) - 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6318

  • This is at least a felony of the third degree but it is greater depending on the crime for which the contact is made. For example, if the unlawful contact was for rape, it would be a felony of the first degree.

Sexual Exploitation of Children

(procuring for another a person under 18 years of age for real or simulated sexual activity including nudity)- 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6320

This is a felony of the second degree.

Crimes Requiring Megan’s Law

42 Pa.C.S.A. §9795

10 year registration is required for:

  • Indecent assault, which is a misdemeanor in the first degree or higher.
  • Incest, where the victim is 12 years of age or older, but under the age of 18 years.
  • Obscene and other sexual materials where the victim is a minor.
  • Sexual abuse of children.
  • Unlawful contact with a minor.
  • Sexual exploitation of children.

Lifetime registration is required for:

  • Rape.
  • Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse.
  • Sexual Assault.
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault.
  • Incest.