Q: I was called today in reference to a woman claiming that when we had sex, it was not consensual. This accusation happened three years ago. A detective called me and asked me to come in and answer some questions. This accusation has completely blindsided me and I’m wondering what is going to happen next. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: More information is required to determine if a PA Statue of Limitations subsection applies as there are numerous factors needed to be known, like the specific charge and whether the victim is a minor. However, the statute of limitations for sex crimes has been greatly expanded over the past few years-as much as 50 years with some sex crimes. Non-consensual sex is Rape. You really need to find a lawyer asap and not speak to the police or anyone about this including friends and acquaintances. Gather your evidence from this event as best as you can. This could be a serious situation.
Q: My friend and I have been wanting to date each other for some time but choose not to because of not knowing the legal standards in Pennsylvania. Is she able to date me and is she able to make her consent on this? I’m looking for an honest real answer because I don’t want both of us to get in trouble with the law. (Erie, PA)
A: I am not sure what you mean by “dating” but if you intend on having sex, you should be careful. Her being over the age of 16 avoids almost all the having sex with a minor crimes in the PA Crimes Code. However, you could be subject to a Corruption of Minors charge, due to the age difference. I see this happen when the parents or family of a young girl allege the older male is tending to corrupt her by having sex or furnishing alcohol. The parents could actually file the charge as she is still a minor until age 18. If anyone in her family is not on board with this you should wait until she turns 18. Even if they are OK with it, things can change.
Q: I’m 28 years old and from Pittsburgh. I was on an online dating website and I talked to a girl. After a while of talking she told me she was 15. I am from another state where sex is legal at 14 and I have been sexually active since I was 14. I told her I didn’t mind that she was 15 because I didn’t know it was illegal in PA. Then me and her started to exchange nude pictures. We made plans to meet at the movies. Then I get a message on my phone from her saying that the police had all the transcripts and were going to arrest me soon and that when I was walking around looking for her at the movies it was just to get me on camera to prove I was there. Then she tells me she is from the activist group POP SQUAD on you tube that catch criminals for sex crimes and post the conversations. I looked them up and there are 1000s of videos and the police actively work with them. My question is what kind of charges I am looking at and what are the punishments for those charges? (Cranberry Twp., PA)
A: It doesn’t matter what the law is in the state in which you previously resided. You are bound by the laws of the jurisdiction in which you allegedly commit a crime. I also find it strange that any state allows adults to have sex with minors age 14, but I only know the laws of PA. Recordings of the telephone conversation, if they exist, would not be admissible under PA wiretap laws unless you consented to the recording. If there are emails with photos and she appears to be under age 16, you may be charged with an internet sex crime. If you went to meet her, they may have you on an attempt of a felony solicitation of a minor. However, walking around a movie theater may not be enough. My suggestion is to not discuss this on the internet anymore nor discuss it with anyone other than an attorney that you hire. I have not had a case like this in several years. The last one I had, my client drove to a Walmart to meet a girl and he was nabbed inside the entrance doors of Walmart by the County Police. Everything about this sounds strange, especially if you haven’t been contacted by the police. It also sounds strange that she is telling you the police will arresting you soon. If the police were involved, they would not tell her to say that. This group may not be who they appear to be on the internet. I would not talk to them at all and certainly do not pay money to anyone. I would keep my fingers crossed, lay low for a while and if you hear from the police, do not make any statements to them-nothing- and hire a lawyer and follow his advice explicitly.
Q: Her parents are okay with her having sex. She had a previous child which she had at 14 (not by me) and she is perfectly capable of consenting. She sleeps around a lot and it was all consensual. I believe I got her pregnant. So, my question is, could I be prosecuted if I am 20 years old for getting a 16-year-old pregnant? I know the age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16. But it is confusing. Maybe she shouldn’t put my name on the birth certificate since it may not be my child. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: People ages 16 years old and older can legally consent to sexual activity. The only crime you could be charged with would be Corruptions of Minors. That is unlikely if the victim or her family do not want to pursue it. Unlikely, but not impossible, especially if the relationship sours. Whether she should put your name on the birth certificate is another subject of discussion and you should seek the opinion of a Family Law attorney. Doing so will add to the presumption that you are the father.
Q: I’m 16, my possibly soon-to-be boyfriend is 19. Almost anywhere we research or read up it says, 16 is the age of consent and it is legal if I would commit a sexual act (such as intercourse, oral sex, etc.) with him. He therefore won’t be charged with statutory rape. But, there are other websites and forums that say I can only have a sexual relationship with someone of the age 16 and 17 for it to be legal? Could someone help me out? I wouldn’t want to get him in trouble if we would do anything. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Under Pennsylvania law, people ages 16 and older can legally consent to sexual activity. The only crime he could be subject to for having consensual sex with you would be Corruption of Minors, given the fact you are a minor and he is an adult. This would require your parent or guardian going forth to file charges and you being a witness or providing statements to prove the case there was sex. My advice to both of you would be to wait until you are 18.
Q: My son was convicted of rape and additional other charges back in 2002. He was 19 the alleged victim was 18. Both have Asperger’s, but he is on the higher end as he is educated. I had put him in several programs for him to reach his full potential. The court claimed the alleged victim to be unable to consent however the judge found her competent to testify. Her testimony didn’t indicate any acts of force or violence and only attempted oral sex. They prompted her with stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books so during the jury being taken to and from the courtroom the jurors could witness this crap. My son served 8 years in state prison and must now register. I would so like to have the truth revealed and his record cleared. I have letters and documents from that period from her father as well as family members who know she can consent and consented to whatever happened. She has since been arrested for solicitation in a public area. (New Stanton, PA)
A: As noted, the appeal deadlines have long passed. A direct appeal was due within 30 days of sentencing and a Post-Conviction Relief Act petition was due within one year of his conviction. As far as any Megan’s Law rules that he may be subject to, you should call his parole or probation officer to see what is required of him. If he would fail to register or report as required, he could be incarcerated again so it is very important that you and he know what is expected of him. It may be a long shot but there is a rule regarding after discovered evidence that will, in certain circumstances, allow a new trial. If you feel that recently discovered evidence would prove that she had capacity to consent back in 2002, and this evidence was not available to you until now, you may want to review that information with a criminal appeals attorney.
Q: My partner and I were caught by a police officer being intimate inside my partners car at an outdoor park that was closed at night. The officer took my partners name and drivers number, and just my name. We are both 18. I am just wondering what will or could happen. The officer did state that he knows it’s a different day and age and we are being kids. However, it is concerning that he still took down information. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I am not sure exactly what you mean by “intimate”. If your actions involved having sex in a public park, even if closed, you could be cited with Open Lewdness, which reads as follows:
§ 5901. Open lewdness.
“A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he does any lewd act which he knows is likely to be observed by others who would be affronted or alarmed”.
If what you were doing was not that offensive and the officer wants to cut you a break, he may not file charges. He may have taken names and information for a record in the event police locate you there in the future. If the officer will file, you are considered at adult at age 18, and therefore may receive a summons for court. If you do, take it to a lawyer. The lawyer will know what options are available to you.
Q: I met a girl on a dating service called tagged then one night out of the blue she contacted me so we texted for a few days and then one particular night she started getting all raunchy talking about sex we ended up sexting then I got a call from her suppose it parents saying that she was a minor and they were going to go to the police supposedly she was making a sex video for me on her mother’s laptop now the guy wants me to buy them a new laptop for $1,700 or he will go to the police she was sending me pictures of her privates and I sent her pictures of mine I know it was a bad mistake I’m not trying to have my life ruined over this and Lord knows it will never happen again now I’m worried and don’t know what to do. (Baldwin Borough, PA)
A: Sounds like they are scammers. If they were legitimate, you would be hearing from the police or the Attorney General and the father wouldn’t be implicating himself in bribery to cover up child exploitation.
Q: I’m a nudist who wants to be as nude as possible as often as possible. The laws for PA I’ve found online don’t seem to stress anything else outside of genitalia interaction, other than offensive sexual gestures. Could I possibly garden or go to a public place (that doesn’t require some specific dress code) while mostly nude except for a covering over just my genitals without being charged for a crime? Or is there a law against baring one’s buttocks in public? If there is, could I walk around in most public places or in public view wearing just a speedo or G-string bikini? Just how nude can an innocent nudist be in most public places and in private but public view, a nudist with no intention to alarm, offend, or sexually arouse people through nudity, while remaining free from a conviction? (Beaver Falls, PA)
A: Pennsylvania defines Indecent Exposure as conduct involving a person who “exposes his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons when he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.” Yes, your genitalia must be covered under a strict interpretation of the statute. However, I think you would be pushing the limits by appearing in public dressed in only a speedo or G-string bikini. I have no doubt that some citizen will have an issue with you and the police will be called. The police are likely not to agree with your interpretation of the statute and you will be cited or arrested. My suggestion would be to do this behind a privacy fence in your own yard or join a nudist colony if you are not already a member.
Q: Can a 16-year-old have sex with 19-year-old legally? And if everything is 100% consensual.
A: Not a good idea. Corruption of Minors charges could be filed. I have seen this happen for a variety of reasons. For example, the relationship sours, the family of the 16-year -old, or any other person, is offended by it then talks to the police, etc. There is too much at risk for the 19-year-old. 16-year-old children are generally not emotionally mature enough to be doing this. (Pittsburgh, PA)