Aggressive Trial Lawyer Defending Those Accused of Sex Crimes in PA
Strong advocacy for potentially damaging charges
The consequences of being convicted of a sex crime are serious: long terms of incarceration, loss of reputation, and the requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. If you’ve been arrested for an alleged sex crime in the Somerset area, Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law provides experienced and decisive defense as soon as you need it, which is immediately. From the outset, I protect your rights and reputation as I work tirelessly to achieve the best resolution possible under the facts of your case.
Common sex crimes and penalties in Pennsylvania
Chapter 31 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes lists several sexual offenses, including:
- Rape — Sexual intercourse accomplished through force, through threat of force, upon an unconscious victim, upon an impaired victim, or upon a mentally disabled victim is a felony of the first degree. The maximum sentence in 20 years and a $25,000 fine.
- Statutory sexual assault — Sex with a minor under the age of 16 is a felony of the second degree when the offender is less than 11 years older than the victim (maximum sentence 10 years in prison and $25,000 fine) and a felony of the first degree when the offender is 11 or more years older than the victim (maximum sentence is 20 years and a $25,000 fine).
- Indecent assault — Depending on the circumstances of the contact, this offense can be a misdemeanor of the first degree (maximum sentence five years and $10,000 fine) or second degree (maximum sentence two years and $5,000 fine), or a felony of the third degree (maximum sentence seven years and $15,000 fine).
- Indecent exposure — The severity of the charge for exposure in public depends on the offender’s knowledge of the age of the victim. Exposure to a minor is a misdemeanor of the first degree (maximum sentence five years and $10,000 fine), while exposure to someone age 16 and over is a misdemeanor of the second degree (maximum sentence two years and $5,000 fine).
- Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image — A person commits this offense by sharing a nude or sexually explicit image of a current or former lover with the intention to “harass, annoy, or alarm” the person depicted. This is a misdemeanor of the first degree when the person depicted is a minor (maximum sentence five years and $10,000 fine), and a misdemeanor of the second degree when the person depicted is an adult (maximum sentence two years and $5,000 fine).
The commonwealth’s code also lists numerous offenses related to promoting prostitution, promoting prostitution of a minor, and patronizing prostitutes.
Certain sexual crimes, such as possessing and sharing internet child pornography, are federal as well as state crimes. Investigations are usually joint efforts of federal and local law enforcement agencies, which have resources dedicated to zealously rooting out offenders and prosecuting these crimes. Getting caught up in this kind of dragnet can be a harrowing experience, because the penalties are severe and the mere accusation can destroy your reputation and career. You should immediately contact a skilled criminal defense attorney if you face such charges.
Human trafficking offenses of a sexual nature
The Pennsylvania Code lists several offenses related to sexual exploitation of individuals who are being held against their will. These include:
- Trafficking — A person who participates in activities that facilitate another person’s involuntary servitude commits a felony of the second degree.
- Trafficking of minors — This offense is a felony of the first degree if the alleged trafficker participates in any act that results in the minor “being subjected to sexual servitude.”
- Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude — It is a second degree felony to engage in a sex act with a victim of human trafficking. This offense also carries a fine of $500.
When human trafficking crosses state lines, it becomes a federal offense, so the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have jurisdiction. You can expect a highly professional investigation and zealous prosecution of all charges. The attorney you choose to defend you must be up to the task.
Contact an aggressive trial lawyer for sex crime defense in Somerset
A conviction for a sex crime carries severe consequences well into the future. For aggressive defense representation, trust Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law. Call 814-483-7075 or contact me online to schedule a consultation. I serve clients throughout Somerset County, Bedford County, Cambria County, and Indiana County.