Sex Offender Registration • Statute of Limitations • Joinder and Severance

Commonwealth. v. Corliss, PICS Case No. 14-0122 (C.P. Monroe Jan. 7, 2014) Williams, J. (26 pages).

The court granted in part and dismissed or denied in part Corliss’ challenges to the numerous criminal offenses involving intercourse with a child and with failing to properly register under Megan’s Law with which he was charged. The court granted the motion to dismiss unlawful contact, denied the motion for paternity testing, granted the motion to sever the sex offenses trial from the failure to register trial, denied the motion for a taint hearing and denied the habeas corpus petition.

Corliss alleged that the charges of aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age regarding the victim R.V. were barred by the statute of limitations. The charges were subject to the statute of limitations set out in 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 5552 (c)(3). R.V. turned 18 in January 2004. The two counts of indecent assault, two counts of corruption of minors and one count of endangering the welfare of a child had to have been filed within two years after R.V. turned 18. Those charges were not filed within that time period and were barred. The time limitation for counts one and two, aggravated indecent assault, was extended for 12 years after R.V. turned 18 under 42 Pa. C.S.A §§ 5552(b.1) and (c) This date would be January 2016.

The commonwealth contended that Corliss was subject to the registration requirements of Megan’s Law and that he failed to register two vehicles he owned when he went to the state police barracks on May 2013 for his sex offender registration update and that he did not update the police within three days after he purchased and registered an additional vehicle. Corliss’ failure to apprise himself of the requirements of the registration law is not an excuse nor is his reliance on the form he signed at the police barracks on May 3, 2013.

Corliss requested a paternity test, which was denied, because he was previously adjudicated as being the biological father of C.C.

The court severed the failure to register case from the other sexual offenses charges because the failure to register was not relevant to nor determinative of the other cases and would lead to confusion of the jury. In addition, the court denied the motion for a taint hearing and the petition for a writ of habeas corpus.