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Legislation aimed at toughening state sexual offender registry heads to Gov. Wolf

Paul Peirce
| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 9:39 a.m.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media

The state Senate this week passed changes to Pennsylvania's sex offender registry law it hopes will keep more than 12,000 people from being removed from the state's registry.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 49-0 to pass House Bill 631, an amended version of legislation approved by the state House in December. The bill now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf to be signed.

In July, the Supreme Court ruled in a 55-page opinion that 2012 changes to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act that expanded and toughened reporting rules under the state's Megan's Law can't be applied retroactively, ruling in favor of Jose Muniz. Muniz was convicted in Cumberland County of two counts of indecent assault of a 12-year-old girl.

Under the state's 1995-approved Megan's Law, offenders had to register and report for either 10 years or life, but the 2012 enactment of SORNA changed that to 15 years, 25 years or life, causing many offenders who had been in the midst of a 10-year reporting period to have to remain registered for life.

The new legislation aims to remedy the court objections.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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