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At the time, the charges did not require him to register as a sex offender.
But with SORNA’s enactment, Haenig, who lives in West Reading, was hit with a 15-year mandate.* The state Superior Court vacated the conviction of Shawn Christopher Williams, a 41-year-old Easton man who was serving 33 months to 10 years in state prison after being found guilty in 2016 of failing to register.
But defense attorneys are pressing that issue, flooding courthouses with appeals arguing that anyone whose crime predated SORNA — which took effect Dec. The defense lawyers say SORNA replaced the state’s prior version of Megan’s Law, and that the old law cannot be resurrected without action by the Legislature.
That’s the stance taken by the lawyer for Davies, the Wilson rapist.
The ruling found that Pennsylvania’s latest version of the registry — the 2012 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act — was so harsh that, unlike its predecessors, it had become a form of punishment, and not merely a tool to educate and inform the public. and Pennsylvania constitutions, both of which ban after-the-fact punishments, wrote Justice Kevin Dougherty.
As a result, the law commonly called SORNA can’t be applied looking backward, to cases that predated its enactment, the court said. SORNA greatly expanded the state’s registry, increasing the number of crimes that are considered sex offenses and lengthening the amount of time most offenders must register.
It’ll take future court cases to show just how expansive the ruling proves to be.Jason Davies admitted raping a woman in Wilson after breaking into her home.He's seeking to avoid having to register as a sex offender, citing a recent state Supreme Court ruling. Davies broke into the Wilson home of a woman he had never met and raped her, threatening to kill her if she screamed.The court’s ruling found that by upping the years of registration, mandating routine in-person appearances before state police, and putting more information about an offender online, the requirements had became punitive.
When SORNA was approved, a nearly unanimous Legislature disagreed, insisting the beefed-up rules weren’t meant as punishment.
Afterward, police collected evidence but had only a vague description of the attacker to work from.