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Institutional Sexual Assault

The statute for Institutional Sexual Assault under § 3124.2, was amended to include all sexual acts between students and teachers, despite age or consent. The new law was a reaction to increased incidents of sexual behavior with students over 16 and teachers through the state. The statute recognizes the inherent power of teachers over students and the impact that sexual behavior has on students and on the educational process.

Sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, and institutional sexual assault are all serious crimes in Pennsylvania that come with very serious fines and penalties. If you are under investigation for having sexual relations with a person in your care, supervision, guidance or control, then you should seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Never make a statement to any school official or law enforcement officer until after you have retained an attorney.

This article discusses the criminal charge of institutional sexual assault under § 3124.2, the minimum and maximum statutory penalties, jury instructions for the crime, elements of the offense and potential defenses.

Attorney for Institutional Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania

If you were arrested for institutional sexual assault under § 3124.2, in the state of Pennsylvania, you need to contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.

Michael J. Skinner is an experienced criminal defense attorney at Skinner Law Firm and understands the severity of sex offenses in Pennsylvania.

With offices in West Chester, Skinner Law Firm represents clients throughout Chester County and Delaware County, along with other surrounding areas in Pennsylvania.


Information Center for Institutional Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania


Institutional Sexual Assault

Under § 3124.2, the charge of institutional sexual assault applies to individuals who are employees or agents of the following institutions:

When a qualifying employees or agents of one of these institutions engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident, the crime can be charged as a felony of the third degree.

As a third degree felony, Institutional sexual assault is punishable with a maximum of 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.


Institutional Sexual Assault of a Minor

Under § 3124.2, when an employee or agent of a qualifying institution is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident who is under 18 years of age, then the crime can be charged as a felony of the third degree.

A person who is a volunteer or an employee of a school or any other person who has direct contact with a student at a school commits a felony of the third degree when he engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a student of the school.


Definitions Related to Institutional Sexual Assault

Under the statutory scheme, the term "direct contact" means care, supervision, guidance or control. The term “school” applies to any public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

The statute includes a broad definition of “employee” which can include:

“a teacher, a supervisor, a supervising principal, a principal, an assistant principal, a vice principal, a director of vocational education, a dental hygienist, a visiting teacher, a home and school visitor, a school counselor, a child nutrition program specialist, a school librarian, a school secretary the selection of whom is on the basis of merit as determined by eligibility lists, a school nurse, a substitute teacher, a janitor, a cafeteria worker, a bus driver, a teacher aide and any other employee who has direct contact with school students.”

The statutory scheme also includes any “independent contractor” who has a contract with a school for the purpose of performing a service for the school, a coach, an athletic trainer, a coach hired as an independent contractor by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association or an athletic trainer hired as an independent contractor by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The statute does not apply to any student employed at the school or any independent contractor or any employee of an independent contractor who has no direct contact with school students.


Additional Resources

§ 3124.2.  Institutional sexual assault – Read more about definitions and general rules associated with the crime of institutional sexual assault. Also find the statutory definition of schools, employees, independent contractors, child care, employee, agent, and center for children.


Finding an Attorney for “Institutional Sexual Assault Charges” in Pennsylvania

Michael J. Skinner has offices in West Chester in Chester County, PA. He represents clients charged with sexually motivated crimes in Chester County and Delaware County, along with other surrounding areas in Pennsylvania. Those sexually motivated offenses can include: aggravated indecent assault, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, and rape.

If you were arrested or accused of institutional sexual assault in Pennsylvania, you need to discuss your case confidentially with an aggressive Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney.

Michael J. Skinner at Skinner Law Firm is prepared to assist you, no matter what criminal charges you face. His familiarity with the courts and the resources available for people accused of sexual offenses may help you avoid the most serious criminal penalties. Let him put his experience to work for you. Call today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.


This article was last updated on Friday, August 26, 2016.

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