All responsible PA residents should be looking for ways to keep themselves and their loved ones protected against sex offenders in this state. Recidivists are highly likely to show up when it comes to sex crimes and sexual offenses. It is therefore recommended to get the information you need on PA sex offenders before they can find you.
Who is a Sex Offender in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, sex offenders are individuals who are guilty of having committed an offense that was sexually motivated. The justice system in PA can therefore take into account a great array of sexual crimes and offenses. You should be able to find an exhaustive list of offenses for which an individual in Pennsylvania is required to register as a sex offender here: http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/FAQ.aspx?dt. The offenses that are being listed here vary from rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, kidnapping, luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure, incest, prostitution of a minor, obscene and other sexual materials and performances and sexual exploitation of children. In other words, all sexual offenders and sexually violent predators in the state of Pennsylvania are obliged to register following Megan’s Law. Certain out-of-state offenders are also subject to the same registration requirements. Out-of-state offenders are forced to report to an approved registration or verification website within 48 hours of establishing a residence, becoming homeless, employed or enrolling in a PA school as a student.
Sexual offenders who have been convicted in Pennsylvania are required to register for 10 years or for their lifetime. This time frame depends on the type of offense that the respective offender has committed.
Researching Sex Offenders in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law website offers visitors a database containing information on PA sex offenders. Agreeing to a disclaimer before gaining access to this database is mandatory: http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/EntryPage.aspx?returnURL=~/SearchCounty.aspx. Also, visitors must know that using the information there to threaten or intimidate or even harass the registrant or their siblings, they cause them to be be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability. Once you click on the “I Accept” button, you shall be able to initiate your search. Nevertheless, as a side note, remember that information that this database is holding has been provided by the registrant and other entities. Hence, the data might at times be outdated or inaccurate. Also, the list of offenders is not an exhaustive one. The best way to identify an individual as being a sex offender is to compare his or her fingerprints against the fingerprints that were taken at the time of the arrest.
Your research can be completed using criteria such as county, incarcerated or non-incarcerated offenders, first and last name, offender type, year of birth, absconded, transient or non-compliant. City, zip code or mile radius can also make for a fast criteria search. Also, by pressing the “View Map” button that is placed next to the offenders’ photos, you will see primary residential address of the sex offenders, as well as the mailing address for transient sex offenders in PA. Here: http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/Main.aspx you will see a list of the most wanted sex offenders in the state of PA. Moreover, the Pennsylvania State Police are offering an Electronic Notification system. The system enables users to sign up and monitor a maximum of five Pennsylvania addresses; they will also be notified when offenders move into or out of a certain areas around any of the five addresses. However, the police’s database is not able to display information on sexually violent predators or sexual offenders who are now being incarcerated. It does, however, offer information on previously registered sexually violent predators or sexual offenders.
According to city-data.com information, there were 1,944 registered sex offenders living in Philadelphia as of July 11, 2012. This means that the ratio of number of residents in Philadelphia to the number of sex offenders is of approximately 800 to 1.