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SEXUAL ASSAULT BY A SPORTS OFFICIAL

SEXUAL ASSAULT BY A SPORTS OFFICIAL

Sports in Pennsylvania came under very harsh criticism in 2012 when Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting some his student-athletes. The Pennsylvania Legislature thought that this issue was so prevalent that it enacted a completely separate statute for sexual assault by a sports figure.

While this is a tragedy and no one should have to suffer through being sexually assaulted, wrongful accusations sometimes happen. Everyone deserves their “day in court.” When mistakes like these happen, it is imperative that the person who is falsely accused is fairly represented.

Attorney for Sexual Assault by a Sports Official in West Chester, PA

If you were charged with sexual assault and you are a sports official or non-profit employee, you want an attorney who has experienced defending clients in multiple kinds of criminal sexual assault charges to fight for your rights.

Call Skinner Law Firm to learn more about how to handle sexual assault charges.

Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents clients accused of misdemeanor and felony sex offenses throughout the southeast Pennsylvania, with offices in Media in Delaware County, West Chester in Chester County, Lancaster in Lancaster County, and Norristown in Montgomery County.


Elements of Sexual Assault by a Sports Official under Pennsylvania Statute §3124

To find a defendant guilty of Sexual Assault by a Sports Official under Pennslyvania Statute § 3124, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:

  • that at the time of the offense in question, the defendant was a person who served as a sports official in a sports program of a nonprofit association or a for-profit association;
  • that the defendant engaged in a sexual act intercourse, or indecent contact with a child under 18 years old who participates in a program or activity of the nonprofit association or for-profit association; and
  • that the defendant did so knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally.

Useful Definitions

Below are some useful definitions of words provided in the sexual assault statutes in Pennsylvania that may differ from everyday use.

The term Sports official defined as a person who supervises children participating in a sports program of a nonprofit association or a for-profit association, including, but not limited to, a coach, assistant coach, team attendant, game manager, athletic trainer, instructor, or a person at a sports program who enforces the rules of a sporting event such as: an umpire or referee, whether receiving remuneration or holding the position as a volunteer.

The term Nonprofit Organization is defined as an entity that is organized as a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit unincorporated association under the laws of this Commonwealth or the United States or any entity, which is authorized to do business in this Commonwealth.


Penalty for Being Charged with Sexual Assault as a Sports Official

If the Commonwealth proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of sexual assault by a sports official under section 3124, then the offense is punishable as a third-degree felony.

Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to seven (7) years in prison and up to $15,000 fines.


Similar Offenses to Sexual Assault by a Sports Official

Before there was sexual assault by a sports official, this type of offense could be charged as indecent assault. Aggravated indecent assault is a lot different from other sexual assault statutes because it cites specific acts.

UnderSection §3125 for aggravated incident assaulta person who penetrates, however slight, the genitals or anus of the victim with a part of the person’s body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if any of the following is also true:

  • the person does so without the complainant’s consent;
  • the person does so by forcible compulsion;
  • the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or
  • the complainant is less than 16 years of age, and the person is four or more years older than the complainant, and the complainant and the person are not married to each other;
  • the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
  • the complainant has a mental disability which renders him or her incapable of consent;
  • the complainant is unconscious, or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the penetration is occurring;
  • the person has substantially impaired the victim’s power to evaluate or control their judgment by giving them drugs or intoxicants, without their knowledge, to prevent resistance.

Aggravated indecent assault is a second-degree felony punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison and up to $25,000 fines.

In addition, indecent assault, under Section 3216 is defined as causing a victim to come into indecent contact with the defendant or the defendant’s bodily fluids. Indecent assault may be charged as a misdemeanor.

Additional Resources

Statistics on Sexual Abuse – Visit the Darkness to Light website, which is an organization that began to end child sexual abuse, to find out more about the statistics on child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.

Sexual Assault by a Sports Official – Visit the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the official website of the Pennsylvania Legislature for more information about how and why Pennsylvania passed House Bill 112 in 2013 and the considerations the legislature made in voting on the bill.


Finding an Attorney for Sexual Assault by a Sports Official in Chester County

If you were charged with sexual assault, and you are a sports official or non-profit employee, call an attorney who will fight to lessen your chance of criminal charges.

Call Skinner Law Firm to learn more about how to handle sexual assault charges. Our offices are located in southeast Pennsylvania in West Chester in Chester County, PA.

Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses throughout the Boroughs of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Call to find out more about sexual assault by a sports official, a third-degree felony under Section §3124.

Michael Skinner
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