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Sexual Offenses

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There are times when you will be immediately arrested and charged with a sexual-related offense after it has been alleged. There are other times where law enforcement will engage in a long investigation before you are fully aware that you are a target or that you are to be charged. It is not uncommon that sex offense cases and cases of child pornography possession and distribution are investigated using covert investigatory tactics including wired phone calls from the alleged victim, search warrants/court orders, etc.

It is crucial that you do not speak over the phone to individuals who may be involved in the case or to anyone who has threatened you with prosecution or accused you of wrongdoing. These matters are sensitive and very serious – carrying heavy penalties and collateral consequences. The sooner you engage an attorney to navigate this system, defend your case, and insulate you from contact with law enforcement, the better.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Mike DiCindio, Esq today at 610.220.4691!

Rape

I’ve been Charged with Rape…

Rape allegations involve an allegation of non-consensual sexual intercourse with “forcible compulsion” or non-consensual sexual intercourse with an unconscious individual. In many cases where the defendant and the complaining witness know each other, these matters become focused on “he said, she said” type of evidence. Meaning that the only evidence of a crime is the complaining witness’ words. In other cases where the complaining witness does not know the perpetrator, these matters may become very complex scientific-based prosecutions/defenses using DNA and more.

Depending on the type of defense involved in the matter – typically either identity, consent or whether sex occurred at all – we will begin by assessing and evaluating the potential experts needed to review the case. There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing, we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are changes to that testimony, it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot, we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Rape, Click Here To Learn About Your Options. 

PA Law Codes Defined:

(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:

(1)  By forcible compulsion.

(2)  By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution.

(3)  Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring.

(4)  Where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.

(5)  Who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.

(6)  (Deleted by amendment).

Sexual Assault

I’ve been Charged with Sexual Assault…

Sexual assault cases are very similar to rape cases and often have many of the same issues and types of evidence that would be presented in prosecution. The major difference is the way in which the non-consensual sexual intercourse occurred. Rape focuses on forced sexual conduct or sex that occurs when the victim is unconscious. The Sexual Assault statute does not require force or any additional factor other than sexual intercourse without the complainant’s consent. Therefore, much like rape cases, depending on the type of defense involved in the matter, we will begin by assessing and evaluating the potential experts needed to review the case.

There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing, we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are any changes to that testimony, it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot, we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Sexual Assault Click Here To Learn More About Your Options.

PA Law Codes Defined:

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape) or 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse

I’ve been Charged with Sexual Assault…

Sexual assault cases are very similar to rape cases and often have many of the same issues and types of evidence that would be presented in prosecution. The major difference is the way in which the non-consensual sexual intercourse occurred. Rape focuses on forced sexual conduct or sex that occurs when the victim is unconscious. The Sexual Assault statute does not require force or any additional factor other than sexual intercourse without the complainant’s consent. Therefore, much like rape cases, depending on the type of defense involved in the matter, we will begin by assessing and evaluating the potential experts needed to review the case.

There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing, we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are any changes to that testimony, it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot, we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse Click Here To Learn More About Your Options

PA Law Codes Defined:

(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant:

(1)  by forcible compulsion;

(2)  by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

(3)  who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring;

(4)  where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;

(5)  who suffers from a mental disability which renders him or her incapable of consent; or

(6)  (Deleted by amendment).

(7)  who is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and person are not married to each other.

Indecent Assault

I’ve been Charged with Indecent Assault…

Indecent Assault centers around contact with the complainant that occurred purposefully and with the intent to arouse sexual desire in the defendant. This statute includes not only touching in general but contact with bodily fluids, as well. These matters are similar to the prior sexual offenses in many ways, but in others, they different drastically. Where they differ is that in many cases the allegations may be much less invasive on the complaining witness. For example, inappropriate touching rather than actual sexual activity may be the allegation that gives rise to this charge. There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are any changes to that testimony, it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot, we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Indecent Assault, Click Here To Learn More About Your Options.

PA Law Codes Defined:

(a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant and:

(1)  the person does so without the complainant’s consent;

(2)  the person does so by forcible compulsion;

(3)  the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

(4)  the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is occurring;

(5)  the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;

(6)  the complainant suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent;

(7)  the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or

(8)  the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

Aggravated Indecent Assault

I’ve been Charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault…

As the title of the offense suggests, Aggravated Indecent Assault is a more serious version of the Indent Assault crime. Aggravated Indecent Assault occurs not only with contact but instead requires penetration. Because these matters are very similar to Rape cases, we will begin by assessing and evaluating the potential experts needed to review the case. There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are any changes to that testimony it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Aggravated Indecent Assault Click Here To Learn More About Your Options.

PA Law Codes Defined

(a)  Offenses defined.–Except as provided in sections 3121 (relating to rape), 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault), 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse) and 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault), a person who engages in penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the person’s body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if:

(1)  the person does so without the complainant’s consent;

(2)  the person does so by forcible compulsion;

(3)  the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

(4)  the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the penetration is occurring;

(5)  the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;

(6)  the complainant suffers from a mental disability which renders him or her incapable of consent;

(7)  the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or

(8)  the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

 (b)  Procedures.Alcohol breath tests shall be conducted by a certified breath test operator. Accuracy inspection tests and calibrations conducted using breath test equipment shall be performed by a certified breath test operator, the manufacturer or its authorized representative or a person who has received comparable training or instruction. Alcohol breath tests, accuracy inspection tests and calibrations conducted using breath test equipment shall be performed in accordance with accepted standard procedures for operation specified by the manufacturer of the equipment or comparable procedures. The procedures for alcohol breath testing shall include, at a minimum:

(1)  Two consecutive actual breath tests, without a required waiting period between the two tests.

(2)  One simulator test using a simulator solution designed to give a reading of .10%, to be conducted immediately after the second actual alcohol breath test has been completed. The lower of the two actual breath test results will be the result used for prosecution. The test results will be disregarded, and the breath test device will be removed from service under §  77.25(b)(4) (relating to accuracy inspection tests for Type A equipment) if one of the following occurs:

(i)   If the difference between the results of the two actual alcohol breath tests is .02 or more, for machines read to the second decimal place, or .020 or more for machines read to the third decimal place.

(ii)   If the simulator test yields a result less than .09% or greater than .10% when the breath test device is read to the second decimal place, or if the simulator test yields a result less than .090% or greater than .109% when the breath test device can be read to the third decimal place.

 (c)  Procedures for adjustment.Breath test equipment which fails the testing under §  77.25(b) or subsection (b) shall be placed out of service and shall be serviced, repaired and adjusted, as necessary, by the manufacturer or its authorized representative or a person who has received comparable training or instruction prior to being placed back into service. In addition, the breath test device shall be tested under subsection (b) prior to being placed back into service.

 (d)  Simulator solution certification.The manufacturer of simulator solution shall certify to the test user that its simulator solution is of the proper concentration to produce the intended results when used for accuracy inspection tests or for calibrating breath test devices. This certification shall be based on gas chromatographic analysis by a laboratory independent of the manufacturer.

 (e)  Ampoule certification.The manufacturer of ampoules utilized in Type A breath testing devices shall certify to the user that its ampoules will produce the intended results when used for actual breath tests, accuracy inspection tests or for calibrating breath test devices. The certification shall be based on laboratory testing conducted by a laboratory independent of the manufacturer. The laboratory testing shall employ generally accepted scientific methods sufficient to insure that the ampoules conform to manufacturer specification.

Institutional Sexual Assault

I’ve been Charged with Institutional Sexual Assault…

The crime of Institutional Sexual Assault creates a separate criminal offense for offenses committed by individuals who are employed by prisons, detention centers, mental health facilities or other similar institutions. If there is any sexual activity or indecent contact with a patient, resident or detainee by an employee they will typically be charged with Institutional Sexual Assault in addition to the other underlying offense (i.e. Rape, IDSI, Sexual Assault, etc.) Because these matters are very similar to Rape cases, we will begin by assessing and evaluating the potential experts needed to review the case. There will be a preliminary hearing scheduled in the matter. At that hearing we will have the opportunity to cross examine the arresting police officer and the complaining witness. In these cases, this testimony is often very important as it will lock in their version of the events and permit us to begin our investigation and review of the facts knowing what they will likely say at trial. In the event that there are any changes to that testimony it will also permit us to have the ability to impeach the witness with their prior testimony. Because there are sex offender registration requirements and a large exposure to incarceration with these convictions, typically, we will attempt to explore agreements that permit us to avoid those consequences in full or in part. If we cannot we will prepare the matter for trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Institutional Sexual Assault Click Here To Learn More About Your Options

PA Law Codes Defined:

(a)  General rule.–Except as provided under subsection (a.1) and in sections 3121 (relating to rape), 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault), 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault) and 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault), a person who is an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections or a county correctional authority, youth development center, youth forestry camp, State or county juvenile detention facility, other licensed residential facility serving children and youth, or mental health or mental retardation facility or institution commits a felony of the third degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident.

(a.1)  Institutional sexual assault of a minor.–A person who is an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections or a county correctional authority, youth development center, youth forestry camp, State or county juvenile detention facility, other licensed residential facility serving children and youth or mental health or mental retardation facility or institution commits a felony of the third degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident who is under 18 years of age.

Indecent Exposure

I’ve been Charged with Indecent Exposure…

The main element in the Indecent Exposure statute is that the actor must be exposing themselves while knowing at the time it would likely offend, affront or alarm another. Further, this must be done in a public place. Credibility of the witnesses and corroborating evidence are major areas for us to defend against these matters. Further, the intent of the defendant is of paramount importance in these cases. There can’t just be the exposure, there must be the actual knowledge of the likelihood to offend, affront, etc. This can be shown through actions and words surrounding the encounter or by the circumstances in general. A thorough investigation in the facts and interaction between the actor and the complaining witness is often the foundation of establishing a possible defense in cases involving this charge. Also, in these matters there are often times where the exposure may be completely accidental – this, of course, also gives rise to potential defenses that must and will be explored and brought to the attention of the Court, the prosecutor, and the police, in these cases.

PA Law Codes Defined

(a) Offense defined.–A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.

Child Pornography

I’ve been Charged with Child Pornography…

The child pornography statute in Pennsylvania punish the production, dissemination and intentional viewing/possession of children engaged in a sexual act. These cases can be involved and technical in their prosecution since most of these cases involved the technology and the use of computers. We will investigate and review the facts and law surrounding law enforcement’s access to your property. These cases often begin with a warrant being served on your home in order to confiscate your electronic devices and computers. We will need to determine if the probable cause alleged to support the warrant is supported by constitutionally secured information. Next, we will need to investigate not only the manner in which these images or videos were received but also the content of them. The types of sexual activity depicted in these videos can increase sentencing exposure. Experts may be used here, as well. Finally, we will negotiate the matter and determine if there is an acceptable resolution for you, and if not, we will proceed to prepare and defend the matter at trial. If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Charged With Child Pornography Click Here To Learn More About Your Options

PA Law Codes Defined

(a)  Definition.–(Deleted by amendment).

(b)  Photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts.–

(1)  Any person who causes or knowingly permits a child under the age of 18 years to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense if such person knows, has reason to know or intends that such act may be photographed, videotaped, depicted on computer or filmed.

(2)  Any person who knowingly photographs, videotapes, depicts on computer or films a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act commits an offense.

(c)  Dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films.–Any person who knowingly sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or who possesses for the purpose of sale, distribution, delivery, dissemination, transfer, display or exhibition to others, any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.

(d)  Child pornography.–Any person who intentionally views or knowingly possesses or controls any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Mike DiCindio, Esq today at 610.220.4691!

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