HUNG JURY – SEX ASSAULT

Client’s sex assault trial ends in a hung jury after the jury decided that the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office could not prove their case. The Commonwealth’s alleged victim and witnesses clearly did not convince the jury of the FALSE allegations. In fact, through effective cross examination it was abundantly clear that the motive behind the false allegations stemmed from a bitter and contested divorce.

Moreover, it became clear that the real issue was how much money could be extorted from the accused. Attorney Steven C. Townsend promised and successfully delivered to the jury the proof of the extortion motive with a jaw dropping piece of evidence the Commonwealth did not see coming……the “extortion note” written and authenticated by the mother.

It is expected that the case will be tried again, and the Commonwealth yet again try to convict an innocent man.

A hung jury does not, in any way, imply guilt. In fact, it signifies that the client is NOT GUILTY. In this case, it underscores the lack of evidence and the incredible testimony of the alleged victim’s false allegations.

Steven C. Townsend is committed to upholding the principles of justice and the presumption of innocence. This case is a reminder of the legal system’s complexity and the importance of hiring competent counsel to protect the rights of the innocent.

SORNA – Constitutional Victory

This is one of the first cases in Pennsylvania to be resolved.

Order, PCRA, Redacted

I am pleased to have successffully represented a client who was unconstitutionally required to register as a sex offender since 2012.  In 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to require a person to register under 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 97, where that person’s registration requirement had expired.  This decision focused on the SORNA legislation passed in 2012.

The SORNA legislation required individuals who for example, had a 10 registration requirement for certain offenses, to now register for life regardless of the initial registration requirements.  The Court got this one right and held that registration is  in essence a penalty and therefore, requiring an additional penalty was ex post facto and unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a challenge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Muniz filed by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.