District attorneys target loophole in Pa. sex offender law

    There’s a loophole in a Pennsylvania law that allows some sex offenders to go without registering with the commonwealth.

    County district attorneys across the state are urging lawmakers to close the loophole.

    Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed said anyone reading the state’s Megan’s Law requiring sex offenders to register would think the rules apply to all sex offenders.

    However, it doesn’t specifically call out sex offenders without a fixed address or offenders from out of state. Freed said the wording makes it impossible to prosecute offenders for failing to check in with State Police. What’s more, he said, the state can’t keep tabs on those living in Pennsylvania.

    “The larger problem is we’re becoming a haven for out-of-state sex offenders because they know they can live here–even if they’re out of registration in their home state,” Freed said. “They can live here and not be prosecuted here because they know the loophole exists.”

    The state House has already passed the proposal unanimously.

    A Senate GOP spokesman said his caucus is reviewing the bill and may try to combine it with necessary changes to sex offender registration that are mandated by federal law.

    If passed by the Senate, the plan to close the loophole could be sent to the governor by the end of the year.

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