Case Conclusion Date: July 24, 2007
Practice Area: Criminal Defense
Outcome: A precedent setting decision
Description: I represented a probationer in a case that established the first amendment rights or probationers/parolees in Pennsylvania. My client, a sex offender, admitted to his probation officer that he viewed "pornography," despite being under order not to do so. We challenged the provision as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, because the probation condition prohibited viewing anything with nudity. The Superior Court ruled that the condition is constitutional because it prohibits only sexual nudity. The Court went on to note that a probation condition prohibiting mere nudity would be unconstitutional. This case has tremendous implications for sex offenders on probation and parole. The Court ruled that while prohibitions against sexually explicit material are constitutional for sex offenders, it is illegal to prohibit any depiction of nudity generally. This was a substantial development. Probation officers around the country have tried to revoke parole for viewing materials which may have nude or semi-nude people displayed in non-sexual settings. My work in this case definitively established that in Pennsylvania such efforts are improper.