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1995 – The Safe Schools Act created an Office of Safe Schools within the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Center for Safe Schools seeks creative and effective solutions to problems that disrupt the educational process and affect school safety. Training, technical assistance, and a clearinghouse of video and print materials are available through the Center to help schools identify and implement effective programs and practices. There was a strong focus on the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying, which includes the execution of the PA CARES (Creating an Atmosphere of Respect and Environment for Success) program, funded by the Highmark Foundation.
2006 – The Office of the Attorney General launched Operation Safe Surf, an Internet safety program. It was designed to teach kids, parents and schools the importance of online safety.
2013 – Governor Tom Corbett signed the Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act (Act 126) into law, which made major changes to the Educator Discipline Act. The changes, which went into effect in 2014, included enhanced mandatory reporting requirements. If teachers receive training on this topic, it must address the following: (1) recognition of the signs of abuse and sexual misconduct and reporting requirements for suspected abuse and sexual misconduct in Pennsylvania; (2) changes to the Educator Discipline Act; (3) the school entity’s policies related to reporting of suspected abuse and sexual misconduct; and (4) maintenance of professional and appropriate relationships with students.
2014 – Governor Corbett signed the Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Child Exploitation Awareness Education Act (Act 71) into law. The law specifically required school entities to: (1) adopt a youth suicide awareness and prevention policy; and (2) provide ongoing professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention for professional educators in building serving students in grades 6 through 12. It specifically permits school entities to incorporate curriculum on this topic into their instructional programs pursuant to their youth suicide awareness and prevention policies.The law also permits school entities to provide age-appropriate instruction regarding child exploitation for students in grades K through 8. If a school entity provides this instruction to its students, the school entity must provide professional development related to child exploitation awareness to those educators assigned to teach courses into which child exploitation awareness education has been incorporated.
AT&T Digital You
This program, sponsored by the company, provides resources, tools and guidance for Pennsylvanians on cyberbullying, identity theft and smartphone security, among other issues. Its goal is to educate people of all ages and levels of online experience about online safety.
Byllying Prevention Institute
One of the Highmark Healthy High 5 initiatives, the Bullying Prevention Institute was created to afford professional development and educational opportunities to school personnel and other professionals as part of the wide-scale implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Pennsylvania.
Center for Safe Schools
Created in 1995, the center works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is responsible for assisting schools in meeting the requirements of the Safe Schools Act, which includes providing resources to educators on a variety of issues. Their three main focuses lie on emergency management, bullying prevention and Internet safety.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Child Advocacy Center
This center within the hospital provides evaluations for children and teens who may be victims of physical or sexual abuse, or neglect. All staff members have expertise and experience in the area of child maltreatment.
The Highmark Foundation was created in 2000 with funding from Highmark Inc., one of Pennsylvania’s health insurers. In 2006, they introduced Highmark Healthy High 5, a $100 million, five-year health promotion initiative to support lifelong good health for children and adolescents ages 6 to 18. One area of focus is bullying prevention, on which the foundation continues to provide online resources and research.
Juvenile Law Center
This organization uses a variety of legal strategies and legislative advocacy to promote fairness, prevent harm, ensure access to services and create opportunities for youth in the foster care and justice systems. Its current initiatives include fairness and due process, protecting incarcerated youth, and promoting second chances.
Office of the Attorey General
Child safety is one of the Attorney General’s top priorities, with a focus on protecting young people from drugs, violence and crime. Her website offers information on child predators, Internet safety tips for kids and detailed descriptions of cyberbullying.
Office of the Attorey General, Child Predator Unit
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit was established in 2005 to identify and capture online predators before they harm children. The group is made up of specially trained agents and prosecutors across the state. The unit has a online reporting form.
PA Network for Student Assistance Services
Administered by the PA Department of Education’s Safe Schools Office in partnership with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Division of Prevention and Intervention, and the PA Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, this department provides leadership for developing safe, drug-free environments in schools and communities. The primary goal of the department is to help students overcome barriers to achieve in school.
Pennsylania Positive Behavior Support Network
This organization aims to support schools, families and community partners, through training and technical assistance, to create school-based behavioral health support systems for students across the state. One of its key issues is bullying prevention.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
This group works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. Inclusive of many types of sexual violence, the organization has information specifically regarding sexual abuse of children and teens, human trafficking and sex offenders. It provides resources and trainings on sexual assault prevention and advocates for public policies that protect victims and hold offenders accountable.
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
This department focuses on improving the justice system. Its Office of Victims’ Services works to minimize financial impacts on those who have been subjected to crime and assaults. The department’s Office of Juvenile Justice works with state and local partners to improve the justice system and prevent violence, delinquency and substance abuse.
Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office for Safe School
This office coordinates school safety and security programs, collects annual school violence statistics, coordinates antiviolence efforts and develops policies to combat school violence. It also offers guidelines on working with traumatized children, victims of dating violence and victims of bullying, and has an online bullying prevention toolkit.
Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
This task force, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, conducts investigations and forensic analysis, and prosecutes offenders who sexually exploit children online. The group also provides tips for keeping families safe on the Internet.
Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate
Jennifer Storm was appointed and confirmed as the commonwealth’s victim advocate in 2013. She is responsible for representing the rights and interests of crime victims before the Board of Probation and Parole and the Department of Corrections, and to providing notification to crime victims of the potential for inmate release, opportunity to provide testimony, and notification of the inmate’s movement within the correctional system.
Pennsylvania Sexaul Offenders Assessmnt Board
This board is responsible for conducting assessments of certain convicted sex offenders in order to assist courts in determining whether they meet the legal criteria for classification as a Sexually Violent Predator.
Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessmnt Board
This board is responsible for conducting assessments of certain convicted sex offenders in order to assist courts in determining whether they meet the legal criteria for classification as a Sexually Violent Predator.
Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative
This initiative offers information and resources for youth, parents and caregivers, schools, health care providers and suicide survivors, with the goal of reducing youth suicide.
Standards Aligned System, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Searchable by subject matter and grade level, this online resource lists materials on emotional safety – including bullying and cyberbullying – physical safety and substance use within its Safe and Supportive Schools focus area.
This organization combines clinical and outreach services designed to combat child and teen suicide. It provides outpatient assessments and treatments for depressed and anxious children and teens. The organization is within the Division of Child and Adolescent Services at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association
This organization advocates for quality public education, and on the behalf of teachers and school staff through collective action. Its website explains Pennsylvania laws on reporting child abuse and lists guidelines for school safety.
Western Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalitino
This group develops and maintains a network of individuals and agencies to educated the public about human trafficking and support survivors. It focuses on education, prevention and survivor services coordination.
Resilience Mitigates the Negative Effects of Adolescent Internet Addiction and Online Risk Exposure (2015)P. Wisniewski, H. Jia, N. Wang, S. Zheng, H. Xu, M.B. Rosson, J.M. Carroll
Based on survey data, this study emphasizes the importance of design solutions that foster teen resilience and strength building, as opposed to solutions targeted toward parents that often focus on restriction and risk prevention.
Building Brighter Futures: Tools for Improving Academic and Career/Technical Education in the Juvenile Justice System (2015)K. Burdick, J. Feierman, C. Feeley, A. Dickman, R.G. Schwartz
This publication examines the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT) and provides suggestions for replication in juvenile justice programming across the country.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: Pennsylvania State Report (2015)National Human Trafficking Resource Center
This report compiles 2014 data on human trafficking, including the number of reports made to NHTRC and demographic data on the state's trafficking victims.
Youth Sexting: Prevalence Rates, Driving Motivations, and the Deterrent Effect of Legal Consequences (2014)H. Strohmaier, M. Murphy, D. DeMatteo
This study investigated the prevalence of and motivations behind sexting among youth.
Adolescent Online Safety: The ‘Moral’ of the Story (2014)P. Wisniewski, H. Xu, M.B. Rosson, J.M. Carroll
This qualitative study shows an association between adolescent moral judgment and online behavior, and illustrates how parenting style and mediation strategies influence teens’ moral growth and decision making about online behaviors.
Discovering Media Literacy: Teaching Digital Media and Popular Culture in Elementary School (2013)R. Hobbs, D.C. Moore
This book provides lesson plans and tools for teaching children ages 5-12 digital and media literacy skills.
Bringing the World to School: Integrating News and Media Literacy in Elementary Classrooms (2013)D.C. Moore
This study evaluates the Powerful Voices for Kids program, which developed a multifaceted approach to integrate news and current events into in-school and after-school instruction in K-6 schools.
School Social Workers’ Perceptions of Cyberbullying (2011)K. Slovak, J.B. Singer
This study found that school social workers believed that cyberbullying can cause psychological harm, including suicide, and should be addressed, but nearly half of the social workers believed they were not prepared to deal with the problem.
Bullying Prevention: The Impact on Pennsylvania School Children (2011)Windber Research Institute, Center for Safe Schools, Clemson University
This report on the Highmark Foundation’s bullying prevention initiative comments on the depth and magnitude of the bullying prevention program outcomes two years after the program's implementation among a larger group of students and schools.
Bullying Prevention: A Statewide Collaborative That Works (2009)PA CARES, HALT!, Highmark Healthy High 5 Bullying Prevention Institute
This report presents the primary findings and conclusions drawn after the implementations of the Highmark bullying prevention plan.
From Teasing to Torment: A Report on School Climate in Pennsylvania (2006)J.G. Kosciw, E.M. Diaz, S.N. Fischer, D. Stojanovic
The results from this study indicate that issues of school safety, bullying, name-calling, and harassment were serious for many Pennsylvania students.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
Sentencing in Pennsylvania follows a matrix which takes into account the classification of an offense, the severity of the offense committed, and any previous convictions that the offender possesses. In general, however, the guidelines are as follows:
- Felony of the first degree: maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.
- Felony of the second degree: maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.
- Felony of the third degree: maximum of seven years’ imprisonment.
General sentencing for misdemeanor crimes are as follows:
- Misdemeanor of the first degree: maximum of five years’ imprisonment.
- Misdemeanor of the second degree: maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
Misdemeanor of the third degree: maximum of one year’s imprisonment.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 2709. Harassment. States that anyone who repeatedly communicates with a person either with no legitimate purpose or using lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, with intent to harass, threaten or alarm another person, or in an anonymous manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor in the third degree at its most serious. This also includes striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the other person to physical contact or threatening to do the same, or following the other person around in public places. The term “communicate” expressly includes communication by electronic means, including electronic mail, the Internet and wireless communication.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 2709.1. Cyber Harassment of a Child. Defines and criminalizes cyber harassment of a child. A person commits this crime if they, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, the person engages in a continuing course of conduct by repeatedly communication any of the following by electronic means to a child: (1) seriously disparaging statement or opinion about the child’s physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity, or mental or physical health or condition; or (2) threat to inflict harm. If a juvenile is charged with a violation of this law, the judge should first consider referring the juvenile to a diversionary program under Pa.R.J.C.P. No. 312 (relating to Informal Adjustment) or No. 370 (relating to Consent Decree). The judge may order the juvenile to participate in an educational program which includes the legal and nonlegal consequences of cyber harassment. If the juvenile successfully completes the program the charge will be expunged.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3121. Rape. This section states that it is an offense to engage in sexual intercourse with another person with the use of force, threat or forcible compulsion. This is a felony in the first degree and the offender may also be subject to an additional penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000 where the offender has impaired the victim’s power or controlled their conduct by administering any substance without the victim’s knowledge. Where the victim is less than thirteen then the maximum sentence is up to 40 years’ imprisonment and where serious bodily injury results, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3121.c. Rape of a Child. States that a person has committed a felony of the first degree if they have engaged in sexual intercourse with a complainant who is younger than 13.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3122.1. Statutory Sexual Assault. Defines the crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16 where the adult is four years older but less than eight years older than the child, or eight years order but less than 11 years older than the child. This is a second degree felony offense. This is a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 and that person is 11 or more years older than the child.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3123. Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse. States that where a person engages in deviate sexual penetration with another person with the use of force or threat, where the person knows the victim is unaware sexual intercourse is occurring, or where the victim is unconscious or mentally disabled, they commit a first degree felony offense. The section specifically includes a child under the age of sixteen, where the perpetrator is more than four years older than the child.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3123.b Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child. When the victim is under thirteen the sentence is a maximum of 40 years’ imprisonment, but if serious injury results the sentence may be that of life imprisonment.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3124.1. Sexual Assault. States that it is a second degree felony to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a victim without their consent, except as provided elsewhere.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3124.2. Institutional Sexual Assault. States that it is a third degree felony for an employee of the Department of Corrections or a county correctional authority, youth development center, youth forestry camp, state or county juvenile detention facility, licensed residential facility serving children and youth, or mental health or mental retardation facility to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3124.2.a.1. Institutional Sexual Assault of a Minor. A person who is an employee of the Department of Corrections or a county correctional authority, youth development center, youth forestry camp, State or county juvenile detention facility, other licensed residential facility serving children and youth or mental health or mental retardation facility or institution who commits a felony of the third degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident who is under 18 years of age.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3124.2.a.2. Schools. A volunteer or employee of a school or any other person with direct contact to students commits a third degree felony when he/she engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a student.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3124.3. Sexual Assault by Sports Official, Volunteer or Employee of Nonprofit Association. A person who serves as a sports official in a sports program commits a third degree felony when he/she engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a child under 18 years old who is participating in the sports program.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3125. Aggravated Indecent Assault. This section states that anyone who penetrates the genitals or anus of a victim with a part of his/her body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures, is guilty of a second degree felony if (1) the person does so without consent; (2) the person does so by forcible compulsion; (3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance; (4) the victim is unconscious or the person knows the victim is unaware penetration is occurring; (5) the person has drugged or intoxicated the unwitting victim to prevent resistance; or (6) the victim has a mental disability rendering him/her incapable of consent. When the victim is under sixteen (if the offender is at least four years older than the child) is guilty of a second degree felony. Where the child in under thirteen years of age, the offense is classed as a first degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3126. Indecent Assault. States a person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant, if (1) the person does so without consent; (2) the person does so by forcible compulsion; (3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance; (4) the victim is unconscious or the person knows the victim is unaware penetration is occurring; (5) the person has drugged or intoxicated the unwitting victim to prevent resistance; or (6) the victim has a mental disability rendering him/her incapable of consent. Where the victim does not consent or is under sixteen and the offender is at least four years older, this is a misdemeanor in the second degree. An offense involving forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, unconsciousness, drugging or mental disability, this is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offense is committed against a child under the age of thirteen, or is a second or subsequent conviction, or it has been committed by touching the victim’s sexual organs with the sexual organs of the offender, the offense is a felony of the third degree.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3127. Indecent Exposure. This section states that anyone who exposes their genitals in any public place where he/she knows such conduct is likely to offend, or to cause affront or alarm, is guilty of indecent exposure. This is a misdemeanor in the first degree where there are children under sixteen present, otherwise it is a second degree misdemeanor.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3130. Conduct Relating to Sex Offenders. A person commits a third degree felony if he/she has reason to believe that a sex offender is not complying with or has not complied with the requirements of the sex offender’s probation or parole, or with registration requirements, and the person intends to assist the sex offender in eluding a law enforcement agent seeking to find, question or arrest the sex offender.
- 18 PA.C.S Section 3131. Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image. A person commits this offense if, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm a current or former sexual or intimate partner, the person disseminates a visual depiction of the current or former sexual or intimate partner in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual conduct. It is a defense under this section that the actor disseminated the depiction with the consent of the person depicted. This offense is a first degree misdemeanor when the person depicted is a minor, and a second degree misdemeanor when the person depicted is not a minor.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5901. Open Lewdness. States that a person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if they do any lewd act which he knows is likely to be observed by others, which causes affront or alarm to any person observing it.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5902.a. Prostitution. A person is guilty of this offense if he/she is an inmate of a house of prostitution or otherwise engages in sexual activity as a business, or loiters in or within view of a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity. This offense is a third degree misdemeanor when it is a person’s first or second offense, a second degree misdemeanor when it is a person’s third offense, and a first degree misdemeanor when it is a person’s fourth or more offense. Prostitution is a third degree felony if the person knew he/she was HIV positive or had AIDS.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5902.b. Promoting Prostitution. This section defines promoting prostitution as committing one of the following acts: (1) owning, controlling, managing, supervising or keeping a house of prostitution or a prostitution business; (2) procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or a place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate; (3) encouraging, inducing, or otherwise intentionally causing another to become or remain a prostitute; (4) soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute; (5) procuring a prostitute for a patron; (6) transporting a person into or within the Commonwealth with intent to promote the engaging in prostitution by that person, or procuring or paying for transportation with that intent; (7) leasing or permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution, or failure to make reasonable efforts to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement or other legally available means; (8) soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing or agreeing to do anything forbidden by this subsection. A person commits a third degree felony if the offense falls under section (1), (2) or (3), the actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution, the actor promotes prostitution of his/her spouse, child, ward or any other person for whom he/she is responsible, or the person knowingly promoted prostitution of another who was HIV positive or infected with AIDS. Otherwise the offense is a second degree misdemeanor.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5902.b.1. Promoting Prostitution of a Minor. States that a person who knowingly promotes prostitution of a minor commits a third degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5903.a. Obscene and Other Sexual Materials and Performances. Under this section it is unlawful to sell, lend, distribute, transmit, exhibit, give away or show any obscene material, or to offer to do any of the aforementioned; design, copy, draw, photograph, print, utter, publish or in any manner manufacture or prepare any obscene material; write, print, publish, utter or cause to be written, printed, published or uttered any advertisement or notice of any kind giving information, directly or indirectly, stating or purporting to state where, how, from whom, or by what means any obscene materials can be purchased, obtained or had; produce, present or direct any obscene performance or participate in a portion thereof that is obscene or that contributes to its obscenity; hire, employ, use or permit any minor child to do or assist in doing any act or thing mentioned in this subsection. Furthermore, it is illegal to transmit unsolicited obscene advertisement by way of electronic communication to one or more persons without including the term “ADV-ADULT” at the beginning of the subject line. The aforementioned offenses are misdemeanors in the first degree. However, such offenses are a third degree felony if the offender has previously been convicted of a violation of the same law or if the material was sold, distributed, prepared or published for the purpose of resale.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 5903.c. Dissemination to Minors. No person shall knowingly disseminate by sale, loan or otherwise explicit sexual materials to a minor. “Explicit sexual materials,” as used in this subsection, means materials which are obscene or: (1) any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film, videotape or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors; or (2) any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter, or sound recording which contains any matter enumerated in paragraph (1), or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors. This is a felony in the third degree. A previous conviction of offenses under this section increases the penalty by one degree.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6301. Corruption of Minors. States that it is a criminal offense for a person over the age of 18 to act in a way that tends to corrupt the morals of a child under the age of 18, including enticing, aiding or abetting them to commit an act that constitutes a crime. This is a misdemeanor in the first degree.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6312. Sexual Abuse of Children. Photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts. This section defines the offense of causing or permitting a child under eighteen to engage in a prohibited sexual act, or in the simulation of such act where the offender is aware that the child is being photographed, videotaped, depicted on computer or filmed. This offense is deemed to be a second degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6312.c. Dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films. States that anyone who possesses, sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or who possesses for the purpose of sale, distribution, delivery, dissemination, transfer, display or exhibition to others, any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer image or other material depicting a child under the age of eighteen engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act is guilty of a felony of the third degree for a first offense and a felony of the second degree for second or subsequent convictions.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6312.d. Child Pornography. It is an offense to view, possess or control any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under 18 engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in a simulation of such an act. This is a felony of the third degree for a first offense and a felony of the second degree for second or subsequent convictions.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6318. Unlawful Contact with Minor. It is defined as a crime where an adult is intentionally in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting as a minor in the performance of his duties, for the purpose of engaging in any behavior prohibited under the sections relating to sexual offenses, open lewdness, prostitution, sexual abuse of children, or any offense relating to obscene materials. The sentence for this is that of the underlying offense or a felony of the third degree, whichever is higher. If the offense was committed through the use of a computer, computer system or computer network, this section grants the Attorney General concurrent prosecutorial jurisdiction with the District Attorney and states that the authority of the Attorney General to prosecute the case may not be appealed or challenged.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6320. Sexual Exploitation of Children. This section states that a person commits this offense when they procure for another person a child under eighteen years of age for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This is a second degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6321. Transmission of Sexually Explicit Images by Minor. It is a summary offense for a minor to knowingly transmit, distribute, publish or disseminate a sexually explicit image of himself/herself, or to possess and knowingly view a sexually explicit image of a minor who is 12 or older. Judges must first consider referring the minor to a diversionary program, and may order them to participate and complete an educational program. Upon successful completion, the minor’s record for this crime shall be expunged. It is a third degree misdemeanor to transmit a sexually explicit image of another minor who is 12 or older. It is a second degree misdemeanor when, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, torment, harass or otherwise cause emotional distress to another minor, a minor: (1) makes a visual depiction of any minor in a state of nudity without the knowledge and consent of the depicted minor; or (2) transmits, distributes, publishes or disseminates a visual depiction of any minor in a state of nudity without the knowledge and consent of the depicted minor.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7611. Unlawful use of computer and other computer crimes. A person commits the offense of unlawful use of a computer if he/she: (1) accesses or exceeds authorization to access, alters, damages or destroys any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, computer database, World Wide Web site or telecommunication device or any part thereof with the intent to interrupt the normal functioning of a person or to devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud or deceive or control property or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises; (2) intentionally and without authorization accesses or exceeds authorization to access, alters, interferes with the operation of, damages or destroys any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, computer database, World Wide Web site or telecommunication device or any part thereof; or (3) intentionally or knowingly and without authorization gives or publishes a password, identifying code, personal identification number or other confidential information about a computer, computer system, computer network, computer database, World Wide Web site or telecommunication device. Any of these offenses constitutes a third degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7613. Computer Theft. A person commits this offense if he/she unlawfully accesses or exceeds his authorization to access any data from a computer, computer system or computer network or takes or copies any supporting documentation whether existing or residing internal or external to a computer, computer system or computer network of another with the intent to deprive him thereof. This is a third degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7614. Unlawful Duplication. A person commits the offense of unlawful duplication if he/she makes or causes to be made an unauthorized copy, in any form, including, but not limited to, any printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs or computer software residing in, communicated by or produced by a computer or computer network. This is a third degree felony, unless the value of the duplicated material is greater than $2,500, in which case the offense shall be one grade higher.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7615. Computer Trespass. A person commits computer trespass if he/she knowingly and without authority or in excess of given authority uses a computer or computer network with the intent to: (1) temporarily or permanently remove computer data, computer programs or computer software from a computer or computer network; (2) cause a computer to malfunction, regardless of the amount of time the malfunction persists; (3) alter or erase any computer data, computer programs or computer software; (4) effect the creation or alteration of a financial instrument or of an electronic transfer of funds; or (5) cause physical injury to the property of another. Such an offense is a third degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7616. Distribution of Computer Virus. A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly sells, gives or otherwise distributes or possesses with the intent to sell, give or distribute computer software or a computer program that is designed or has the capability to: (1) prevent, impede, control, delay or disrupt the normal operation or use of a computer, computer program, computer software, computer system, computer network, computer database, World Wide Web site or telecommunication device; or (2) degrade, disable, damage or destroy the performance of a computer, computer program, computer software, computer system, computer network, computer database, World Wide Web site or telecommunication device or any combination thereof. Such an offense is a third degree felony.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7622. Duty of Internet Service Provider. States that an Internet Service Provider must remove any child pornography accessible through its service within five business days of being notified by the Attorney General.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7623. Penalty. States that any Internet Service Provider who fails to comply to his duty as specified in section 7622 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree for a first offense, punishable by a fine of $5,000. This is elevated to a misdemeanor of the second degree for a second offense, punishable by a fine of $20,000. Third or subsequent offenses are classified as a felony of the third degree, punishable by a fine of $30,000 and imprisonment for a maximum of seven years.
- 18 Pa.C.S. Section 7661. Unlawful Transmission of Electronic Mail. A person commits this offense if he/she: (1) Uses a computer or computer network without authority and with the intent to falsify or forge electronic mail transmission information or other routine information in any manner in connection with the transmission of unsolicited electronic mail through or into the computer network of an electronic mail service provider, Internet service provider or its subscribers; (2) Sells, gives or otherwise distributes or possesses with the intent to sell, give or distribute computer software which: is designed to facilitate or enable the falsification of electronic mail transmission information, has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to facilitate or enable the falsification of electronic mail transmission information or other routing information, or is marketed by that person or another person acting in concert with that person for the use in facilitating or enabling the falsification of electronic mail transmission information or other routing information. Unlawful transmission of electronic mail is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500. If there is damage to the property of another valued at $2,500 or more caused by the offender’s reckless disregard for consequences of these violations, the offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000. If there is damage to the property of another valued at $2,500 or more caused by the offender’s malicious act in these violations, the offense is a third degree felony punishable by a fine not to exceed $15,000.
- 24 Public School Code. Section 13-1303.1-A. Policy Relating to Bullying. Defines bullying, for the purpose of this Act, as an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or series of acts, directed at other students which incurs in a school setting that is severed, persistent or pervasive, and leads to any of the following: substantially interfering with a student’s education, creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school. Each school was required to adopt a bullying policy by January 1, 2009, delineating disciplinary consequences for bullying and providing for prevention, intervention and education programs. Individual schools can broaden the definition of bullying to include acts that occur outside the school, as long as the consequences stated above apply.