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Commonwealth v. Houtz

September 16, 2009

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE
v.
CHRISTINA MARIE HOUTZ, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence August 1, 2007, In the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County, Criminal Division at No. CP-38-CR-0002219-2006.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Popovich, J.

BEFORE: KLEIN, POPOVICH, and FITZGERALD*fn1, JJ.

OPINION

¶ 1 Appellant Christina Marie Houtz appeals the judgment of sentence*fn2 claiming that her probationary sentence was unduly restrictive and/or incompatible with her freedom of conscience. We reverse.

¶ 2 Our review of the record establishes that on the 24th day of May, 2007, Appellant pleaded guilty to corruption of a minor and indecent assault.*fn3 The charges arose out of Appellant engaging in oral intercourse with a fifteen- year-old female on September 24, 2006, at Appellant's home in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. At a hearing held on August 1, 2007, Appellant received a sentence of eighteen months probation subject to any rules, regulations, and conditions to be imposed by the Lebanon County Adult Probation Department. As a consequence of Appellant's sex convictions, her probationary sentence required her to abide by a list of Special Conditions for Sex Offenders (hereinafter "Special Conditions"), which included the following; to-wit:

SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR OFFENSES INVOLVING A MINOR CHILD

1. I may have no unsupervised contact with any minor children, [.] without the permission of my probation officer. I will have no physical contact with my child.

2. If I would like to have supervised contact with any minor child, I will report to my officer with the person who is to supervise the visits, that person will be my officer with the person who is to supervise the visits, that person will be read the probable cause affidavit pertaining to my arrest. I must submit to that person that I did indeed commit this offense.

3. I may not visit places where children congregate, such as, but not limited to schools, playgrounds, swimming pools, arcades and carnivals.

4. I will refrain from participation in any youth group or youth group activities (Boy Scouts, etc.).

5. I may not accept employment or volunteer my services for any activity directly or indirectly involving children, such as: school bus driver, daycare worker, coach, costume character, Sunday school teacher, etc.

The standard Special Conditions applicable to all sex offenders in Lebanon County consist of the following; namely:

SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR SEX OFFENDERS

1. I will participate in treatment for sex offenders as directed by the probation office and I will comply with the ...


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