Metzgar and Marsico Pass Amendment to Create Felony Charge for Teachers Engaging in Sexual Activity with Students
HARRISBURG – In the wake of incidents that have occurred locally and around the Commonwealth, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset/Bedford) today said he has worked with the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), to pass an amended bill creating the offense of institutional sexual assault in a school or child center setting. It would apply whether or not the student has reached the age of consent in Pennsylvania, which is 16.

“For the protection of our most vulnerable citizens, our children, we passed this much-needed amendment,” said Metzgar. “There should be no tolerance for a person in a superior position, such as a teacher or coach, having sexual contact with a student.”

The amendment to Senate Bill 1183 incorporates language creating the offense of institutional sexual abuse, which would make it unlawful for a teacher, coach or other employee of a public or private school, or a volunteer or employee of a center for children to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or indecent contact with a student, or a child receiving services at the center.

“The age of consent in the Commonwealth is 16, and there have been victims of heinous sexual assaults who have reached that age, and the law needed to be strengthened,” said Metzgar.

Metzgar said the penalty would be a third-degree felony that would be punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

The House passed the amended bill and sent it to the Senate.

State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
69th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Raymond Smith