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[U] Commonwealth v. Andres

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 28, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
TERENCE PAUL ANDRES, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order entered December 20, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-10-CR-0001298-2007

BEFORE: PANELLA, ALLEN, and STRASSBURGER [*] , JJ.

MEMORANDUM

STRASSBURGER, J.

Terence Paul Andres (Appellant) appeals an order entered on December 20, 2012, which denied his petition for declaratory judgment and ruled that he was required to register as a Tier I sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)[1] for the misdemeanor offense of corruption of minors. After review, we vacate the trial court's order and remand for proceedings consistent with this memorandum.

Appellant was charged on June 4, 2007, with two counts of rape of a child, two counts of statutory sexual assault, two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, two counts of aggravated indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of corruption of minors.[2] On January 23, 2009, the Commonwealth amended the criminal information to include one count of recklessly endangering another person (REAP).[3] On that same day, Appellant entered into a negotiated nolo contendere plea to one count of corruption of minors, graded as a first degree misdemeanor, [4] and one count of REAP. All other charges were dismissed. See Commonwealth's Objection to Appellant's Petition for Expungement, 1/18/2013. Appellant was sentenced on February 18, 2009, in accordance with the plea agreement, to an aggregate term of two to 12 months' incarceration at the Butler County Jail, followed by a consecutive 72 months of county probation. Appellant was also ordered to undergo a sexual offender assessment within 90 days of sentencing and comply with any recommended treatment.

The version of Megan's Law in effect at the time of Appellant's plea did not subject him to any reporting requirements based upon the crimes to which he pled.[5] However, in the years following Appellant's plea, a number of legislative changes occurred. In 2010, the legislature expanded the definition of the crime of corruption of minors to include a felony grading for sexual conduct:

(a) Offense defined.--
(1) (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii), whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any act corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(ii) Whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any course of conduct in violation of Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses) corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of an offense under Chapter 31 commits a felony of the third degree.

18 Pa.C.S. § 6301(a) (emphasis added).

Additionally, SORNA was enacted on December 20, 2011, and became effective on December 20, 2012. SORNA provides that:

The following individuals shall register with the Pennsylvania State Police as provided in sections 9799.15 (relating to period of registration), 9799.19 (relating to initial registration) and 9799.25 (relating to verification by sexual offenders and Pennsylvania State Police) and otherwise comply with the provisions of this subchapter:
(2) An individual who, on or after the effective date of this section, is, as a result of a conviction for a sexually violent offense ... being supervised by the Pennsylvania Board of ...

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