Sex Crimes/Offenses Criminal Defense Attorney (PA)

PA Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Being accused of a sex crime, or sex offenses, is absolutely devastating to anyone. The mere allegation of a sexual assault results in severe consequences and repercussions. Sex offenses, more so than any other crime, frequently involve little or no corroborating evidence such as DNA, eyewitness accounts or other forensic evidence. And yet, despite this lack of evidence, sex crimes defendants often feel like they are guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around.

If you are facing an alleged sex offense, you should hire an experienced and aggressive Harleysville, Pennsylvania attorney handling sex offenses immediately. It is important to have an attorney with the resources and experience to mount the kind of defense that can make the prosecution think twice about taking the case to trial or, if the cases goes to trial, winning the case.

You should feel free to contact Montgomery County, PA Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Erik Petersen. I have the experience, knowledge and resources to defend your case the rights way and help clear your name. I serve all of Montgomery County including Upper Dublin, Cheltenham, Horsham, Upper Providence, Pottstown, Lower Merion, Upper Merion, Jenkintown and Norristown.

The Unique Challenges of Sex Offense Cases

It is often extremely difficult for an alleged sex offender to receive a fair trial. Police officers and prosecutors frequently draft criminal complaints that are very one-sided and read very badly for the accused. In some cases, media reports fan the flames by writing articles that present a biased and salacious account of the accusations.

Studies have shown that the sort of finger pointing, false accusations and emotional reactions involved in sex cases can result in false allegations and, in some cases, convictions based on evidence that seems weak. The result can be mandatory jail sentences and ruined lives. Many convictions result in lengthy — or even lifetime —  Megan’s Law registration with the state police. For all these reasons, it is very important to have an aggressive Montgomery County, PA sex crime lawyer on your side.

Norristown Sex Offense Lawyer Erik Petersen spends time with each client to learn all sides of the story and prepare an aggressive defense. Preparation is key to being able to appropriately question the prosecution’s case and expose potential biases and inaccuracies on the part of the witnesses. As a prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney I have handled many serious cases, including sex crime cases, and have the experience and ability to represent anyone charged with a sexual assault offense.

Types of Sex Offenses

The Law Office of Erik Petersen is prepared to represent clients accused of the following sex assault crimes:

  • Rape (sexual assault)
  • Date Rape
  • Statutory Rape
  • Internet Sex Crimes
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Offensive Touching
  • Online Solicitation Of A Minor

Pennsylvania Prostitution Laws 

Prostitution is defined in PA law as engaging in sexual activity as a business.  It is a crime to pay a prostitute for sexual activity and it is also a crime to employ a prostitute or otherwise “promote prostitution”.

It is incredibly embarrassing — and professionally devastating — for virtually everyone charged with prostitution.  Obviously, a prostitution conviction can have serious legal and personal consequences for anyone.  Anyone charged with prostitution should enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney — such as Norristown, Montgomery County, Criminal Defense Attorney Erik Petersen.

According to Pennsylvania laws, a person commits the crime of prostitution by:

  • engaging in sexual activity for money, or
  • loitering in a public place (or in view of a public place) for the purpose of being hired for sexual activity

In Pennsylvania, people who engage in sexual activity for money can be convicted of the crime of prostitution. People who pay for sex be convicted of Patronizing a Prostitute.  A person engages in the crime of patronizing if he or she hires a prostitute – or other person – to engage in sexual activity or enters or remains in a house of prostitution to hire a prostitute.  For example, in a “sting” police investigation, if a person “hires” an undercover officer to engage in sexual conduct and is arrested before any sexual activity takes place, that person could still be prosecuted for patronizing.  The penalties for committing Prostitution and Patronizing a Prostitute are the same.

Promoting Prostitution

Laws against Promoting Prostitution, also referred to as pimping or pandering, are aimed at third parties who benefit from or help others commit prostitution.  To be convicted of Promoting Prostitution, the defendant must be aware that prostitution is occurring.

In Pennsylvania a person commits the crime of Promoting Prostitution by:

  • owning or managing a house of prostitution or prostitution business
  • procuring a person for a house of prostitution
  • encouraging or causing a person to become or remain a prostitute
  • finding a customer for a prostitute or a prostitute for a customer
  • transporting (or arranging the transportation of) a person into or across Pennsylvania for the purpose of prostitution
  • leasing or otherwise allowing property under the defendant’s control to be used for prostitution without making an effort to stop the use
  • living off of or being supported by money earned from prostitution, or
  • soliciting, making money, or agreeing to receive money to do any of the above.

For example, a person who owns a massage parlor and allows prostitutes to rent space there, knowing that they are engaging in prostitution, and fails to stop them, evict them or call the police can be charged with Promoting Prostitution.

Child Prostitution

Promoting Prostitution is punished more severely if the person who is prostituted is under the age of 18. Indeed, prosecution for “child trafficking” is on the rise and is increasingly brought in federal court. The primary reason that federal prosecutors bring these charges — as opposed to county district attorney’s offices — is that the federal sentencing guidelines for such cases are extremely severe and prosecutors know that with a conviction, the defendant will spend many, many years in prison.

For anyone suspected of any offense involving a child, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately. If you suspect that you are under investigation, you should not wait to be charged. It is sometimes possible to get a better result if you have a lawyer who can negotiation with prosecutors at the beginning of the case.

HIV / AIDS Infection

Under Pennsylvania’s laws, Prostitution, Patronizing a Prostitute and Promoting Prostitution are punished more severely if the defendant knows that he or she or the person whose prostitution the defendant is promoting is infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Punishment for Prostitution Offenses

A first offense for Prostitution and Patronizing a Prostitute is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.  Subsequent offenses can be punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Promoting Prostitution can be prosecutes as a misdemeanor (punishable up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine) or a felony (punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment and a $15,000 fine).

The following crimes are punishable as felonies by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000:

  • prostitution and patronizing when infected with HIV/AIDS
  • promoting the prostitution of a person infected with HIV/AIDS
  • owning or managing a house of prostitution or prostitution business
  • procuring a person for prostitution
  • encouraging or causing a person to become or remain a prostitute
  • compelling another to engage in or promote prostitution
  • promoting the prostitution of a spouse, child, or other person for whom the defendant is responsible, and
  • promoting the prostitution of a minor.


In addition to other criminal penalties, the court must publish in local newspaper the name of “johns” convicted of Patronizing a Prostitute on a second or subsequent offense. The defendant must pay the cost of publication.

Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registration Laws

People convicted of promoting the prostitution of a minor in Pennsylvania are required to register under “Megan’s Law” as sex offenders for 25 years following the imposition of sentence or their release from prison.

Let A Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney Help

A criminal conviction related to prostitution can have very serious consequences, including time in prison or jail, hefty fines, job loss, and even sex offender registration. If you are charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania. An experienced defense attorney will be able to tell you what to expect in court and make the strongest arguments on your behalf so that you can achieve the best outcome possible under the circumstances.

I am Montgomery County Criminal Attorney Erik Petersen and I have a wealth of experience handling all types of criminal cases including sex offenses.  Call my office today to discuss how I can help you through this situation.

Pennsylvania Sex Offense Defense Lawyer

sex crimesBeing charged with a sex offense or sex crime such as Rape, Involuntary Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Assault, Indecent Exposure or any other sex crime is a shocking and devastating event. The mere allegation of any of these crimes can lead to criminal charges even if there is little to no physical or corroborating evidence. Often times these cases are “he said” versus “she said”.

When I am hired to represent someone charged with these crimes, I take an aggressive approach and utilize various investigative techniques in an effort to seek the truth and build a solid defense. In previous cases, I have obtained information regarding the alleged victim’s background to determine if he or she has a history of lodging false sex crime accusations against other people. Several years ago, I represented an individual who was charged with repeatedly raping a woman he did not know. At trial, I was able to show the jury through various pieces of evidence that the victim was not telling the truth and that she, in fact, knew my client. The story she told the police and the Emergency Room personnel simply didn’t add up once all the evidence was fully analyzed and pieced together properly. The jury found my client not guilty as a result of good old fashioned hard work.

I provide comprehensive and aggressive representation to clients facing a range of sex offense charges, including:

  • Rape / date rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Child molestation cases
  • Sexual assault
  • Spousal sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Prostitution
  • Solicitation
  • Indecent exposure
  • Possession of Child Pornography

If you or a loved one is facing any type of sex crime or sex offense you should contact me immediately. I am conveniently located in Harleysville, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The initial consultation is always free so please do not hesitate to call. In my experience, the sooner we get started the better the outcome.