Like most other states, Pennsylvania has a “Megan’s Law” statute. This law is designed to protect citizens from sexual predators by requiring that sex offender’s register with the Pennsylvania State Police. The State Police in turn notify local police departments which patrol communities in which offenders reside.
There are two classes of offenders as defined by Megan’s Law.
A “sexual offender” is an individual who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense. Sexual offenders are required to register all current residences and intended residences with the Pennsylvania State Police. While the Newberry Township Police Department is aware of such individuals via State Police notification, we cannot, by law, make their information public.
A “sexually violent predator” is a sexual offender who is found to possess a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the individual likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses. Not all sexual offenders are considered to be sexually violent predators. A sexually violent predator is subject to both the registration and lifetime community notification requirements of Megan’s Law.
In cases involving sexually violent predators, we will conduct a community notification process as permitted by state law, including a community notification flyer which contains the name of the predator, the predator’s address, the offense for which the predator was convicted, a statement that the person has been designated to be a sexually violent predator, and a photograph of the sexually violent predator.
Under state law, notice is provided to the neighbors of the sexually violent predator, meaning those persons who live or work within 250 feet of the predator’s residence or the 25 most immediate residences and places of employment in proximity to the predator’s residence, whichever is greater.
Notice is also provided to the director of the county children and youth service agency of the county where the predator resides, the superintendent of each school district and the equivalent official for private and parochial schools enrolling students up through grade 12 in the municipality where the predator resides, the superintendent of each school district and the equivalent official for each private and parochial school located within a one-mile radius of where the sexually violent predator resides, the licensee of each certified day care center and licensed preschool program and owner/operator of each registered family day care home in the municipality where the sexually violent predator resides, and the president of each college, university and community college located within 1,000 feet of the predator’s residence.
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