Commonwealth v. Elliot

In Commonwealth v. Elliot, the defendant filed a PCRA petition requesting the lower court vacate his Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) designation. The court dismissed his petition as untimely. On appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that, though the lower court erred in construing the defendant’s challenge to his registration, notification, and counseling (RNC) requirements as … Read more

T.L.P., Jr. v. PA State Police

In T.L.P., Jr. v. PA State Police, Petitioner sought a writ of mandamus compelling the Pennsylvania State Police to comply with an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, discharging Petitioner from his responsibility to register as a sex offender under SORNA, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9799.10 – .41. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court … Read more

A.L. v. PA State Police

In A.L. v. PA State Police, Petitioner sought review of an order of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). PSP adopted a hearing examiner’s proposed adjudication and order, thereby affirming the determination that Petitioner’s conviction under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C.§ 920(b)(3)(A), is comparable to a conviction under 18 … Read more

Commonwealth v. Young

In 1976, Appellant pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. He absconded to Kentucky when he was paroled. Two years later, he was convicted of rape and related offenses in Kentucky. These sex crimes carried a lifetime reporting requirement under Kentucky law.  After he served the full sentence for the crimes in Kentucky, he was transferred to … Read more

Commonwealth v. Moose

Commonwealth v. Moose is another decision of the Pennsylvania appellate courts concerning Subchapters H and I of SORNA.  In 1995, the defendant entered a negotiated guilty plea to third-degree murder, rape, and criminal conspiracy. At the time the defendant pleaded guilty, Pennsylvania had not yet enacted laws requiring sex offender registration. In  December 2011, PA … Read more

Commonwealth v. Asher

While Commonwealth v. Asher was pending in the Superior Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered its decision in Commonwealth v. Torsilieri, 232 A.3d 567 (Pa. 2020). In Torsilieri, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether SORNA’s inherent irrebuttable presumption that sex offenders are likely to recidivate violates due process. In Torsilieri, the Supreme Court … Read more

Commonwealth v. Leone

In Commonwealth v. Leone, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the defendant’s designation as a sexually violent predator (SVP) was constitutional. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court previously held in Commonwealth v. Butler, 226 A.3d 972 (Pa. 2020), that the mechanism by which defendants are determined to be SVPs is constitutional.

Commonwealth v. Reslink

In Commonwealth v. Reslink, the defendant appealed his sentence after he was convicted of molesting his nephew. The Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the trial court did not err when, at sentencing, the court did not merge two counts of indecent assault. The Court found that one count was based on a course of conduct, … Read more

Commonwealth v. Muhammad

In Commonwealth v. Muhammad, the PA Superior Court ruled that Revised Subchapter H of the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9799.10—9799.42, was unconstitutional as applied to the defendant because the statute created an irrebuttable presumption that her convictions for interference with custody of children, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, and conspiracy … Read more

Commonwealth v. Santana

An en banc panel of the Superior Court waded into the murky waters of SORNA in Commonwealth v. Santana. The defendant was convicted of rape in New York in 1983 and was released from jail in 2000. Under NY law, he was required to register as a sex offender for life. In 1994, Pennsylvania enacted … Read more