In Commonwealth v. Jones, 859 WDA 2013, 2014 WL 2209090 (May 29, 2014), the defendant, Lawrence Jones, had pleaded guilty to second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault and corruption of minors. However, at the time, only guilt of first-degree misdemeanor indecent assault required registration and reporting under Megan’s Law. The defendant filed a petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act that was denied by the trial court because of a lack of jurisdiction under the Act.
On appeal to the Superior Court, the issue the Court had to decide was whether to grant relief in light of the absence of any indication of an agreed-upon and affirmative step to avoid application of Megan’s Law when the defendant entered his plea. Ultimately, the key issue was whether there should be the imposition of sex offender registration upon someone who had entered a plea that entailed no such requirement. The Court found that because SORNA was not in effect when he pleaded guilty he should not be subjected to the newly enacted SORNA provisions that would require him to register as a sex offender.
Note- This opinion appears to have been withdrawn by the Superior Court. Stay tuned for any possible updates….