Philadelphia Rape / Sexual Assault: Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Rape / Sexual Assault in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, “sexual assault” has become a blanket term for all sex offenses, including rape. A person commits sexual assault by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with another person without the consent of that person. The punishment for a sexual assault crime can vary depending on various factors such as the age of the victim, the use of incapacitating drugs, and infliction of serious physical injury.

The consequences of a sexual assault conviction can be devastating, including the requirement to register as a sex offender and the possibility of the publication of your status in Philadelphia’s sex offender database. Hiring an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney is the key to ensuring a fair trial, and FindLaw offers a local directory of Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys.


Recently in Rape / Sexual Assault Category

3 Ways DNA Can Make or Break Criminal Cases

Proof that DNA has a huge impact on criminal cases: DNA evidence has linked a suspect in sexual assault case in Wisconsin to at least three unsolved sexual assaults in Philadelphia.

After Wisconsin police entered the suspect's DNA into a national database, Philadelphia detectives found a match between the DNA and sexual assault, according to Madison's WIBA.

Due unique nature of DNA, what are three ways DNA can impact criminal cases?

3 Teens Arrested After Woman Endures Christmas Nightmare

We've heard a few Christmas Grinch stories, but this one takes the cake for being the worst Christmas crime story of the year.

Unfortunately, it's not as petty as the theft stories from earlier this month. A 22-year-old woman endured a Christmas nightmare as she was robbed and sexually assaulted by three teens in a kidnapping, Fox 29 News reports.

The teens -- a 19-year-old and two 17-year-olds -- allegedly kidnapped the victim from a parking lot on Marshall Road in Upper Darby as she waited for her boyfriend to come out of a bar. The trio forced their way inside her car at gunpoint and drove her around, allegedly taking turns raping her in the back seat, police told Fox 29.

Ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier Charged in Sandusky Scandal

Penn State's former president, Graham B. Spanier, has been charged with eight criminal counts in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The charges include obstruction of justice, perjury, and endangering a child.

As you probably know, earlier this year Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach and founder of a charity for troubled children, was convicted of more than 40 counts of child sex abuse.

The sex abuse allegedly took place over several years. Several incidents were brought to the attention of university officials, as some of the acts took place on school grounds.

Spanier was the president of Pennsylvania State University during this time.

Romeo and Juliet Laws and Statutory Rape in Pennsylvania

Last week, we heard the story of a teenage sex-tape scandal, in which the son of the mayor of Leesport, near Reading, was suing his school after being suspended for having consensual sex with his girlfriend while on a school trip.

That was a personal injury lawsuit, in which Anders Hemdal, the mayor's 16-year-old son, was seeking damages for an alleged violation of due process and emotional distress.

Nevertheless, the story presents an interesting question about consensual sex between minors and what that means in Pennsylvania.

Basically, we're going to talk about so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws -- the laws of consent.

Bam Margera Stalker Arrested After Waking Him With Naked Kiss

It seems as though being famous has some downsides -- although non-celebrities may not call attention from admiring fans a "downside." Maybe after you've done insane stunts and risked your life, having a naked 24-year-old wake you up with a kiss is just one risk too many.

"Jackass" star Bam Margera was asleep in his West Chester home when he was awoken by a kiss by a naked female intruder, according to Philly.com. The freaked-out celebrity immediately called police and threw the woman out of his house. West Chester police picked her up, still without clothing, in the rural area around Margera's home.

Did the woman not think what she was doing was a crime?

Yet Another Priest Arrested in Philadelphia: Fr. Andrew McCormick

With the Lynn verdict and sentencing completed and Brennan headed back to trial, you probably thought the news of sexual abuse in Philadelphia would begin to die down. That just doesn't seem to be the case anytime soon, as victims now know that justice can and will be served against those who abused them.

Father Andrew McCormick is the latest priest to be arrested after accusations of the 1997 sexual abuse of a minor at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg came to light, according to NBC10. The victim said that he wanted to come forward after seeing the coverage surrounding the Sandusky case. McCormick was already in hot water after being put on leave from Sacred Heart in Swedesburg following a 2011 grand jury report.

Why was he not arrested after the original grand jury report?

Jerry Sandusky Sentencing; Judge Cleland Has His Work Cut Out

Friday, June 22, is when the jury comprised of Penn State alumni and other Centre County residents found Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Now, all that remains is for the court to determine the length of Sandusky's sentence.

The jury deliberated for two days to reach its verdict, only acquitting him of 3 charges, including the charge based on Mike McQueary's testimony of walking in on the alleged abuse of a child in the Penn State locker room, according to the Inquirer. Now that the jury has completed its duty of determining the facts of the case, it is up to the judge to determine what happens next.

Priest Sex-Abuse Case Could End with Hung Jury and Mistrial

You all know about the priest sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. You also know about how the scandal has hit the Philadelphia Archdiocese, with one former priest already pleading guilty to charges of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in 1999, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now, the trial that was supposed to provide answers may end in a hung jury in the cases of Monsignor William Lynn and Reverend James Brennan, according to FOX29. The jury communicated in a note to Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that it was in a "hung jury situation" for all but one of the five charges against Lynn and Brennan, according to the Inquirer.

The judge has instructed the jury to keep trying, but what if they cannot reach consensus?

Sandusky Disorder Evidence to Be Part of Defense

All of the horrifying testimony has been presented in the Sandusky trial. All of the prosecution's witnesses have told their side of the story and the experts agree that Sandusky's only chance at a defense is to discredit all of the testimony against him, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now the defense wants to put on Sandusky's disorder evidence.

On Friday, Judge John Cleland ruled that Sandusky will be allowed to present expert evidence that he has "histrionic personality disorder" (HPD) as long as Sandusky is made available to the prosecution for examination, reports the Associated Press. The defense believes the disorder could explain away Sandusky's letters and other alleged grooming of victims.

What was the judge's order and what does it means to Sandusky's defense?

Old Forge Police Chief, Captain, Fireman Caught Up in Sex Scandal

Disturbing progress has been made in an underage sexual assault probe in Old Forge, Lackawanna County. State police have now arrested the Chief of the Old Forge Police, Larry Semenza, 48, for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the years 2004 to 2007, reports the Times-Tribune. The girl, now 23, was a former junior firefighter.

Earlier this month, they also arrested Police Captain Jamie Krenitsky, 34, and former volunteer firefighter Walter Chiavacci, 46, on allegations of inappropriate touching back in 2004 and 2005. According to the Tribune, the two police officers have been suspended without pay, pending the results of the investigation.