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Suite 100
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone:  (717) 651-0100
Fax:  (717) 651-0801

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Millersburg, PA 17061
Phone: (717) 692-0833
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Harrisburg, PA 17120
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Helm Announces Hearing to Assess Megan’s Law Internet Registry

House Republican Policy Committee to obtain testimony about the site’s flaws


As a result of Auditor General Jack Wagner’s scathing report about Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law website, Rep. Sue Helm (R-Susquehanna Township) today announced that the House Republican Policy Committee will hold a hearing to review the law that requires sexual offenders to register their location, employer and other important details on the website.  The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17, in Susquehanna Township High School’s auditorium.  The school is located at 3500 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg.


“I am pleased the Policy Committee will be in the 104th District to discuss this very important issue,” Helm said.  “The Megan’s Law website is riddled with numerous flaws that require the General Assembly to step in and mandate changes to ensure the public has access to accurate information.  Sexual offenders prey upon children and parents must have access to current information to guard their children from these individuals.”


Enacted in 1995, Megan’s Law is named for Megan Kanka, who was brutally raped and murdered in 1994.  The perpetrator was a twice-convicted sex offender who moved across the street from her family’s home in New Jersey.  The law requires the Pennsylvania State Police to maintain a public registry of convicted sex offenders.


The auditor general conducted a special performance audit of the website in 2006, which faulted the website for failing to provide the public basic information such as up-to-date photographs and street addresses of registered sex offenders.  The special report issued on June 22 was a follow-up of the 2006 audit to see how the website improved; it received an overall grade of a C minus.


As highlighted in the auditor general’s special report, Helm is drafting legislation that would require:


  • All photographs to be consistent and adequate so sex offenders are recognized in clearly dated photos, including profile views, by the public.
  • The listing of all sexual offenses and definitions for which the offender was convicted for the public to identify non-compliant registrants and view their profiles.
  • Variances in spelling and punctuation of the name, address and county in the website’s search feature.
  • A mapping tool to permit the public to see all offenders in a specified geographical area.
  • Procedures for the state police to identify and correct website data entry errors.
  • An e-mail notification system to provide public notices when an offender moves into a designated area or changes an address.

“Ultimately my concern lies with protecting the children of Pennsylvania,” Helm said.  “As our most precious, vulnerable members of society, we must take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.”


Rep. Susan C. Helm
104th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 651-0100
(717) 787-1230

Contact:  Tim Eller

 (717) 260-6242

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