Superior Court Clarifies “Course of Conduct” for Corruption of Minors
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has recently clarified that “course of conduct” requires multiple acts over time to trigger the felony grading for the offense of corruption of minors. In this matter, the Defendant was convicted of corruption of minors and indecent assault. The corruption of minors count was graded as a felony as the Commonwealth contended there was a “course of conduct.” The Defendant appealed and the Superior Court agreed.
The Defendant, who had committed a single act of fondling the genitals of a minor and was convicted by the trial court and sentenced under the felony subsection for his offense. The Defendant then appealed, arguing that “course of conduct” requires proof of two or more related events that occur over time, and consequently, a single episode would not constitute a course of conduct.
The Superior Court agreed with the Defendant concluding, that “course of conduct” requires “multiple acts over time,” in the same manner in which the term is used for other offenses in the crimes code and that the Legislature did not intend to apply the felony grading of the corruption of minors to a single sexual offense. Ultimately, the Superior Court vacated the trial court’s judgment of sentence and remanded the matter for resentencing.
Despite what media outlets report, allegations of sexually based offenses are not always as they appear and the only way to ensure one’s legal rights are protected is to hire an attorney whose experience in this realm of defense is unmatched. Philadelphia based lawyer Marc Neff has spent the last 25 years protecting the rights of those facing these types of charges. He is a frequent lecturer on the topic, and uses cutting-edge technologies to create defense strategies for his clients. To schedule a confidential consultation with Marc Neff, please call (215) 563-9800 or email Marc@nefflawoffices.com.