CORRUPTION OF MINORS IN PA
Corruption of Minors is a serious charge in PA that carries jail time and possibly sex offender registration requirements depending on the facts of the case. If charged with Corruption of Minors in PA, it is critically important for you to hire a qualified Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to represent you.
There are three classifications for Corruption of Minors charges: sexual, non-sexual offenses and truancy offenses.
Non-Sexual Corruption of Minors definition under 18 Pa.C.S. 6301(a)(1)(i)
Under Title 18 Section 6301(a)(1)(i), Corruption of Minors is graded as a 1st Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Since the offense is non-sexual in nature, an offense under Subsection (a)(1)(i) does not trigger sexual offender registration requirements under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
A person commits an offense under this subsection if he or she is 18 years of age or older, and commits one of the following acts:
The offender commits an act that corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age; OR
The offender aids, abets, entices or encourages a minor in the commission of a crime; OR
The offender knowingly assists or encourages a minor in violating his or her parole or a court order.
Corruption of Minors as a Sex Offense under 18 Pa.C.S. 6301(a)(1)(ii)
Under Title 18 Section 6301(a)(1)(ii), Corruption of Minors is graded as a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by up to 7 years in jail and a $15,000. This offense is considered to be a sex crime in Pennsylvania, triggering a 15-year sexual offender registration requirement under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
A person commits an offense under this subsection if he or she is 18 years of age or older, and:
Engages in a course of conduct in violation of Chapter 31 pertaining to sexual offenses. Sexual offenses include rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and indecent exposure; AND
Corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of a minor under 18 years of age; OR
Aids, abets or entices a minor under 18 years of age to commit a sexual offense.
Mistake of Age as a Defense
Under 18 Pa.C.S. 6301(d)(2), a person being mistaken about the age of the minor may have a defense under limited circumstances. For this defense to apply, the minor must be over the age of 16 but less than 18 years of age, and the actor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he reasonably believed the minor to be 18 years of age or older. A preponderance of the evidence standard is a “more likely than not” standard, or above 50%. The mistake of age defense does not apply when the actor is under the age of 16.
Why am I being charged with Corruption of Minors?
In sexual cases, the basis for the charge would be an obvious allegation of a sex crime involving a minor. Typically, the offender will face more than Corruption of Minors charges, which could include rape, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault and related offenses.
In non-sexual cases, Attorney Zuckerman has prosecuted and defended cases charging Corruption of Minors for a wide array of scenarios. Examples include:
An adult who commits a retail theft offense while being accompanied by a minor;
Adult who purchases tobacco products for a minor;
Adult who uses drugs in the presence of a minor;
A person 18 years of age or older who commits a crime with a minor, regardless of the age difference between the two individuals;
A high school senior who dates a younger person, keeping that individual out past curfew or otherwise interfering with a parent-child relationship.
What should I do if I’m being investigated for or charged with Corruption of Minors?
If you are under investigation for Corruption of Minors, DO NOT speak with law enforcement or anyone but a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer moving forward. Your statements will be used against you in court to prosecute your case.
For a free consultation, contact the Zuckerman Law Firm at 412-447-5580. Our attorneys have represented those accused of sexual and non-sexual Corruption of Minors charges in state courts throughout Pittsburgh and Western PA. Our goal is simple - avoid a conviction for this offense. Call us now.