Corruption of Minors charges cover a wide away of crimes in Pennsylvania Law, such as:
- Mistreatment of children.
- Furnishing liquor to minors.
- Sexual exploitation of children.
Most of these offenses carry fines and jail sentences, and some carry longer prison terms. One of the more common is corruption of minors. These charges are usually used when a defendant is accused of having sex and/or giving alcohol to a minor.
Corruption of a Minor Defined in Pennsylvania
It is a crime in Pennsylvania for a person older than 18 to corrupt the morals of a minor, such as:
- Enticing or encouraging a minor to commit a crime.
- Knowingly assist or encourage a minor to violate parole.
In theory, these charges can cover a wide range of “corrupting” activities. But it mostly is used to cover drinking and sex.
While CoR is a misdemeanor, is can turn into a felony if a sex crime occurred as well. Misdemeanor CoR is punishable by 5 years in prison. Felony corruption of minors carries a maximum 7 year term.
See Also: Title 18, Statutes of Pennsylvania
Corruption of Minors and Similar Crimes in PA
Prosecutors often tack corruption of minors charges onto other criminal counts.
Corruption of minors charges frequently involve alcohol, so in these situations prosecutors will also charge defendants with furnishing alcohol to minors. This is a lesser misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in jail.
Felony corruption of minors inherently involves other sex crimes. Sex with a minor younger than 13 is child rape in Pennsylvania, carrying as many as 40 years in prison, and it may be charged as both child rape and corruption of minors, in addition to other crimes.
Sex between an adult older than 18 and a minor between the ages of 13 and 15 is statutory sexual assault (also known as statutory rape). It is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison. It may be charged as both statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors.
CoR Charges & Age of Consent in PA
The age of consent for statutory sexual assault is 16 in Pennsylvania, but the age of consent for corruption of minors is 18. This means that some sexual conduct, if it tends to corrupt the morals of minors, may be criminal even if it does not violate the statutory sexual assault laws. If so it will be misdemeanor corruption of minors, as the felony statute requires violation of a sex crime such as statutory sexual assault.
Defenses in PA
In some cases it may be possible to demonstrate that you were mistaken as to a minor’s age. But there are limits on a defendant’s ability to argue mistake in corruption of minors cases.
As a rule, the court presumes a defendant knew the minor’s age in the absence of proof to the contrary. If the minor was younger than 16 at the time of the alleged offense, a defendant cannot claim he didn’t know the minor’s age or mistakenly thought she was 18.
However, if the minor was 16 or 17, it is a sufficient defense if the defendant can prove by a preponderance of the evidence (by more than half the evidence, in other words) that he reasonably believed the minor was 18 or older.
If you or a loved one have been charged with corruption of minors in PA, call Brian Manchester. By calling for a Free Strategy Session, you can begin building your defense today!