Philadelphia, December 21, 2011: Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams commends Governor Corbett, the General Assembly, and his fellow District Attorneys for the enactment of important legislation that will better protect children in the Commonwealth from sex offenders. This legislation, signed into law yesterday by Governor Corbett, closes loopholes in Megan’s Law that until now have allowed transient and out-of-state sex offenders to avoid registering with law enforcement. These offenders otherwise went unnoticed in Pennsylvania. The new legislation also makes it a felony for a teacher, coach, or school employee to engage in sexual relations with any student with whom they have direct contact. It also brings Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act requirements.
“It is critical that our laws are tough on sex offenders and do not permit them to evade registration requirements,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “The registration of a convicted sex offender is not only an important tool for law enforcement agencies, it’s also a necessary key for a community’s sense of well being, and I am pleased the General Assembly and Governor worked so hard to enact this legislation.”
Mr. Williams, who is chair of the legislative committee of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, said that closing the transient and out of state sex offender loopholes was the primary legislative priority of the Association. “If you are a sex offender, you must register, and failing to do so is a felony. And know this; we will prosecute you if you break the law again.”