What is Institutional Sexual Assault and its Punishments?

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3124.2§ defines Institutional sexual assault.

Institutional sexual assault specifically applies to sexual contact between two individuals who have a specific relationship. The law includes out many individuals who may be charged with this offense, including employees of the following:

  • Department of Corrections or another correctional authority.
  • Juvenile detention facilities run by the state or county
  • Youth forestry camps, Youth development centers.
  • Groups homes or other residential facilities that serve youth.
  • Mental health facilities. Employees of any of these institutions may be charged with institutional sexual assault if they have sexual contact with a resident, patient, or inmate of the facility in which they work.

Employees of these institution may be charged with ISA if they’ve had sexual contact contact with a resident, patient, or inmate of the facility where they work.

Punishments for Institutional Sexual Assault

Punishments for Pennsylvania institutional Sexual Assault can include:

  • Jail or prison up to 7 years.
  • Fine from $2,500 to $15,000.

The punishments for ISA are rather severe. This is because the employees are responsible for the safety and welfare of those they deal with. In most cases, the person who is sexually assaulted is unable to leave the facility, adding to the severity of the chargers.

Examples of Institutional Sexual Assault Charges

In 2018, Lackawanna County Prison recently had a high profile case where 7 current and former Correctional Officers were charged with Institutional Sexual Assault (among other crimes) of inmates occurring over a period of several years. The guards allegedly used their positions of authority to coerce the women into performing sex acts on them in multiple locations including cells and utility closets. The guards promised the women things like extra phone time, food and cigarettes.

In 2017, a female prison guard was also charged with, and convicted of, institutional sexual assault. A 42 year old Chambersburg woman pled guilty and stated that she touched a male inmate’s in his 20’s genitals. She was sentenced to 2 months of incarceration and 4 months of electronic monitoring.

If Charged, Call an Experienced Lawyer

If you find yourself, or a loved one finds themselves accused of Institutional Sexual Assault, it is crucial to call a Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. For a Free Strategy Session, contact Manchester & Associates immediately to begin building the defense against these charges. We want to help.


Share this post