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Commonwealth v. Sampolski

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

April 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellant
v.
DENNIS JOSEPH SAMPOLSKI, Appellee

Argued February 25, 2014

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Luzerne County, Criminal Division, No. CP-40-CR-0004044-2008. Before AUGELLO, J.

James L. McMonagle, Assistant District Attorney, Wilkes Barre, for appellant.

BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., DONOHUE and STABILE, JJ.

OPINION

DONOHUE, J.:

Appellant, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (" the Commonwealth" ), appeals from the trial court's order granting the petition of Appellee, Dennis Joseph Sampolski (" Sampolski" ), to enjoin the requirement that he register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.10 et seq. (" SORNA" ). For the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's order.

On June 14, 2010, Sampolski pled guilty to one count of corruption of a minor, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301(a)(1), a misdemeanor in the first degree. Conviction of this crime did not require registration as a sex offender under Megan's Law, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9795.1 et seq. , then in effect in Pennsylvania. In exchange for Sampolski's agreement to plead guilty to this crime, the Commonwealth dismissed the remaining charges against him, some of which were felonies that would have required registration under Megan's Law. N.T., 6/14/2010, at 3. At the plea hearing, the factual basis for the plea was that Sampolski had corrupted the morals of a minor " by having sexual contact." Id. at 4. The trial court sentenced Sampolski to six to twelve months of incarceration with work release, and four years of probation. Id. at 10-11.

In or around December 2012, Sampolski received notice that he would have to register as a sex offender pursuant to SORNA. Since the time of Sampolski's conviction in June 2010, Pennsylvania had amended both its corruption of minors statute and its registration requirements for sex offenders. Sampolski plead guilty

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to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301(a)(1), which in June 2010 provided as follows:

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.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301(a)(1) ( amended P.L. 482, No. 69, § 1, effective December 6, 2010) (hereinafter " Corruption (Former)" ). On October 7, 2010, the Pennsylvania Legislature amended this provision, effective December 6, 2010, to provide as follows:

(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 ...

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