AN ACT

 

1Amending Titles Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses)<-, 23 (Domestic 
2Relations) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
3Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, further
4providing for the offense of simple assault and for the
5offense of aggravated assault; <-in offenses against the 
6family, further providing for the offense of endangering 
7welfare of children; <-and, in falsification and intimidation,
8providing for the offense of false reports of child abuse and
9for the offense of intimidation or retaliation in child abuse
10cases<-; in wiretapping and electronic surveillance, providing 
11for administrative subpoena; in child protective services, 
12providing for exclusions from child abuse; and in sentencing, 
13further providing for sentences for offense against infant 
14persons.

15The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
16hereby enacts as follows:

17Section 1. Section 2701(a) and (b)(2) of Title 18 of the
18Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:

19§ 2701. Simple assault.

20(a) Offense defined.--[A] Except as provided under section 
212702 (relating to aggravated assault), a person is guilty of
22assault if he:

1(1) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or
2recklessly causes bodily injury to another;

3(2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a
4deadly weapon;

5(3) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear
6of imminent serious bodily injury; or

7(4) conceals or attempts to conceal a hypodermic needle
8on his person and intentionally or knowingly penetrates a law
9enforcement officer or an officer or an employee of a
10correctional institution, county jail or prison, detention
11facility or mental hospital during the course of an arrest or
12any search of the person.

13(b) Grading.--Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second
14degree unless committed:

15* * *

16(2) against a child under 12 years of age by [an adult
1721] a person 18 years of age or older, in which case it is a
18misdemeanor of the first degree.

19Section 2. Section 2702(a)(6) and (7) and (b) of Title 18
20are amended and subsection (a) is amended by adding paragraphs
21to read:

22§ 2702. Aggravated assault.

23(a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of aggravated
24assault if he:

25* * *

26(6) attempts by physical menace to put any of the
27officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in
28subsection (c), while in the performance of duty, in fear of
29imminent serious bodily injury; [or]

30(7) uses tear or noxious gas as defined in section

12708(b) (relating to use of tear or noxious gas in labor
2disputes) or uses an electric or electronic incapacitation
3device against any officer, employee or other person
4enumerated in subsection (c) while acting in the scope of his
5employment[.];

6(8) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or
7recklessly causes bodily injury to a child less than six
8years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older; or

9(9)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or
10recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child less than
1113 years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older.

12(b) Grading.--Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(1)
13[and], (2) and (9) is a felony of the first degree. Aggravated
14assault under subsection (a)(3), (4), (5), (6) [and (7)], (7) 
15and (8) is a felony of the second degree.

16* * *

<-17Section 3. Section 4304(a)(2) and (b) of Title 18 are
18amended and subsection (a) is amended by adding paragraphs to
19read:

20§ 4304. Endangering welfare of children.

21(a) Offense defined.--

22* * *

23(2) A person commits an offense if the person[, in an
24official capacity,] intentionally or knowingly prevents or
25interferes with the making of a report of suspected child
26abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective
27services).

28(2.1)  A person commits an offense if the person:

29(i)  is 18 years of age or older and resides in the
30home of a child or is a paramour of a parent of the

1child;

2(ii)  has knowledge or reason to believe that the
3child is being endangered as described in paragraph (1);
4and

5(iii)  fails to report the endangerment under 23
6Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.

7(2.2)  A person commits an offense if the person
8intentionally or knowingly acts to prevent the discovery by
9law enforcement or a county agency of an abused or neglected
10child under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.

11* * *

12(b) Grading.--[An] Except for an offense under subsection
13(a)(2.2), an offense under this section constitutes a
14misdemeanor of the first degree. However, where there is a
15course of conduct of endangering the welfare of a child, the
16offense constitutes a felony of the third degree. An offense
17under subsection (a)(2.2) constitutes a felony of the third
18degree.

19Section <-4 3. Title 18 is amended by adding sections to read:

20§ 4906.1.  False reports of child abuse.

21Any person who intentionally makes a false report of
22suspected child abuse against a person, school<-, private
23residential rehabilitative institution, detention facility,
24school employee, private residential rehabilitative institution
25employee or detention facility <-employee, private residential
26rehabilitative institution employee, detention facility employee
27or child-care services employee commits a misdemeanor of the
28second degree.

29§ 4958.  Intimidation or retaliation in child abuse cases.

30(a) Intimidation.--A person commits an offense if:

1(1)  The person has knowledge or intends that the
2person's conduct under paragraph (2) will obstruct, impede,
3impair, prevent or interfere with the making of a child abuse
4report or the conducting of an investigation into suspected
5child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child
6protective services) or prosecuting a child abuse case.

7(2)  The person intimidates or attempts to intimidate any
8reporter, victim or witness to engage in any of the following
9actions:

10(i)  Refrain from making a report of suspected child
11abuse or not cause a report of suspected child abuse to
12be made.

13(ii)  Refrain from providing or withholding
14information, documentation, testimony or evidence to any
15person regarding a child abuse investigation or
16proceeding.

17(iii)  Give false or misleading information,
18documentation, testimony or evidence to any person
19regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding.

20(iv)  Elude, evade or ignore any request or legal
21process summoning the reporter, victim or witness to
22appear to testify or supply evidence regarding a child
23abuse investigation or proceeding.

24(v)  Fail to appear at or participate in a child
25abuse proceeding or meeting involving a child abuse
26investigation to which the reporter, victim or witness
27has been legally summoned.

28(b) Retaliation.--A person commits an offense if the person
29harms another person by any unlawful act or engages in a course
30of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which threaten another

1person in retaliation for anything that the other person has
2lawfully done in the capacity of a reporter, witness or victim
3of child abuse.

4(c)  Grading.--

5(1)  An offense under this section is a felony of the
6second degree if:

7(i)  The actor employs force, violence or deception
8or threatens to employ force, violence or deception upon
9the reporter, witness or victim or, with reckless intent
10or knowledge, upon any other person.

11(ii)  The actor offers pecuniary or other benefit to
12the reporter, witness or victim.

13(iii)  The actor's conduct is in furtherance of a
14conspiracy to intimidate or retaliate against the
15reporter, witness or victim.

16(iv)  The actor accepts, agrees or solicits another
17person to accept any pecuniary benefit to intimidate or
18retaliate against the reporter, witness or victim.

19(v)  The actor has suffered a prior conviction for a
20violation of this section or has been convicted under a
21Federal statute or statute of any other state of an act
22which would be a violation of this section if committed
23in this Commonwealth.

24(2)  An offense not otherwise addressed in paragraph (1)
25is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

26(d)  Definitions.--The following words and phrases when used
27in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this
28subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

<-29"Child abuse." Except as otherwise provided in 23 Pa.C.S. §
306304 (relating to exclusions from child abuse), any of the

1following with respect to a child:

2(1) Recklessly or intentionally acting against a child
3with either of the following outcomes which occurred within
4two years of the date of the report to the department or
5county agency:

6(i) Causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury
7to a child.

8(ii) Creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily
9injury or serious bodily injury to a child.

10(2) Recklessly or intentionally engaging in any of the
11following conduct that has occurred within two years of the
12date of the report to the department or county agency:

13(i) Kicking, burning, biting, stabbing, cutting or
14throwing a child in a manner that may endanger the child.

15(ii) Unreasonably confining or restraining a child,
16based upon the method, location or the duration of the
17confinement or restraint.

18(iii) Forcefully shaking a child if the child is
19under one year of age.

20(iv) Forcefully slapping a child if the child is
21under one year of age.

22(v) Interfering with the breathing of a child.

23(vi) Causing the child to be present at a location
24where any of the following is occurring:

25(A) A violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7508.2 (relating
26to operation of methamphetamine laboratory).

27(B) A felony violation of the act of April 14,
281972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled
29Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

30(vii) Operating a vehicle in which the child is a

1passenger while a violation of 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802
2(relating to driving under influence of alcohol or
3controlled substance) is occurring.

4(viii) Leaving a child alone with an individual who
5is 14 years of age or older and subject to registration
6under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 97 Subch. H (relating to
7registration of sexual offenders).

8(3) Causing or significantly contributing, by an act or
9series of acts, to the serious mental injury to a child.

10(4) Recklessly or intentionally acting to cause the
11sexual abuse or exploitation of a child.

12(5) Causing serious physical neglect of a child.

13(6) Attempting to engage in any conduct under paragraph
14(1), (2), (3) or (4).

15(7) Failing to act which:

16(i) has occurred within two years of the date of the
17report to the department or county agency; and

18(ii) does any of the following:

19(A) Causes bodily injury or creates a reasonable
20likelihood of bodily injury to a child.

21(B) Recklessly or intentionally engages in
22conduct under paragraph (2).

23(8) Causing harm or injury as set forth in paragraph (3)
24or (4) by failing to act.

25(9) Recklessly or intentionally performing an act which
26results in the death of a child.

<-27"Child abuse." As defined in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(b)
28(relating to definitions).

<-29Section 5. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

30§ 6304.  Exclusions from child abuse.

1(a)  Environmental factors.--No child shall be deemed to be
2physically or mentally abused based on injuries that result
3solely from environmental factors that are beyond the control of
4the parent or person responsible for the child's welfare, such
5as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical
6care.

7(b) Practice of religious beliefs.--If, upon investigation,
8the county agency determines that a child has not been provided
9needed medical or surgical care because of seriously held
10religious beliefs of the child's parents, guardian or person
11responsible for the child's welfare, which beliefs are
12consistent with those of a bona fide religion, the child shall
13not be deemed to be physically or mentally abused. The county
14agency shall closely monitor the child and shall seek court-
15ordered medical intervention when the lack of medical or
16surgical care threatens the child's life or long-term health. In
17cases involving religious circumstances, all correspondence with
18a subject of the report and the records of the Department of
19Public Welfare and the county agency shall not reference "child
20abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for the child's
21condition, and the family shall be referred for general
22protective services, if appropriate.

23(c)  Use of force for disciplinary purposes.--Subject to
24subsection (d), the use of reasonable force under the
25circumstances against a child by a person responsible for a
26child's welfare shall not be considered child abuse if any of
27the following conditions apply:

28(1)  The use of reasonable force constitutes incidental,
29minor or reasonable physical contact with the child or other
30actions that are designed to maintain order and control.

1(2)  The use of reasonable force is necessary:

2(i)  to quell a disturbance or remove the child from
3the scene of a disturbance that threatens physical injury
4to persons or damage to property;

5(ii)  to prevent the child from self-inflicted
6physical harm;

7(iii)  for self-defense or the defense of another
8individual; or

9(iv)  to obtain possession of weapons or other
10dangerous objects or controlled substances or
11paraphernalia that are on the child or within the control
12of the child.

13(d)  Effect on rights of parents.--Notwithstanding subsection
14(c), this chapter does not restrict the generally recognized
15existing rights of parents to use reasonable supervision and
16control when raising their children, subject to the provisions
17of 18 Pa.C.S. § 509 (relating to use of force by persons with
18special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of
19others).

20(e)  Participation in events that involve physical contact
21with child.--An individual participating in a practice or
22competition in an interscholastic sport, physical education or
23an extracurricular activity that involves physical contact with
24a child does not, in itself, constitute contact that is subject
25to the reporting requirements of this chapter.

26(f)  Peer-on-peer contact.--No child shall be deemed to be
27physically or mentally abused based on injuries that result
28solely from a fight or scuffle mutually entered into by mutual
29consent.

30Section 6. Section 9718(a) of Title 42 is amended to read:

1§ 9718. Sentences for offenses against infant persons.

2(a) Mandatory sentence.--

3(1) A person convicted of the following offenses when
4the victim is under 16 years of age shall be sentenced to a
5mandatory term of imprisonment as follows:

618 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1) and (4) (relating to aggravated
7assault) - not less than two years.

818 Pa.C.S. § 3121(a)(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) (relating
9to rape) - not less than ten years.

1018 Pa.C.S. § 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
11intercourse) - not less than ten years.

1218 Pa.C.S. § 3125(a)(1) through (6) (relating to
13aggravated indecent assault) - not less than five years.

14(2) A person convicted of the following offenses when
15the victim is less than 13 years of age shall be sentenced to
16a mandatory term of imprisonment as follows:

1718 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1) - not less than five years.

1818 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(9) - not less than five years.

19(2.1) A person convicted of the following offenses when
20the victim is less than six years of age:

2118 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(8) - not less than two years.

22(3) A person convicted of the following offenses shall
23be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment as follows:

2418 Pa.C.S. § 3121(c) and (d) - not less than ten years.

2518 Pa.C.S. § 3125(a)(7) - not less than five years.

2618 Pa.C.S. § 3125(b) - not less than ten years.

27* * *

28Section 7. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

<-29Section 4. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014, or
30immediately, whichever is later.

 

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