Court: tougher sex offender reporting can't be retroactive

Written by Mark Scolforo/Associated Press | Jul 19, 2017 6:14 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court says changes enacted five years ago that toughened reporting requirements under Pennsylvania's sex offender registration law can't be applied retroactively.

The high court on Wednesday said a man convicted in Cumberland County of indecent assault of a 12-year-old girl won't have to register for life.

The prosecutor whose office lost the decision says it could produce a large number of appeals by Megan's Law registrants, arguing the decision also applies to them.

The defendant is Jose M. Muniz, who was convicted in 2007 but wasn't sentenced until 2014. That's two years after more stringent reporting standards took effect.

In a lone dissent, Chief Justice Thomas Saylor says he doesn't consider sex offender reporting as a form of punishment, so it doesn't violate constitutional protections.

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