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LAWRENCE COUNTY District attorney leads efforts to protect women and children



Published: Sat, January 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both changes he supported were enacted into law.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew T. Mangino spent the last year fighting to strengthen two laws protecting women and children from sexual predators.

Mangino called for abolishing the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses and for expanding Megan's Law.

In September 2003, Mangino highlighted a provision in Pennsylvania law that would enable rapists to avoid prosecution because of the 12-year statute of limitations.

At the time, Mangino said, "Our position is we shouldn't have to worry about any time limits when DNA is available to identify a defendant. DNA is evidence that can be proved to a mathematical certainty."

Mangino supported legislation sponsored that would eliminate the statute of limitations for all felonies and certain misdemeanor sex offenses in which the perpetrator can be identified by DNA, but remains unknown. The bill was passed and signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell. The statue of limitations will now lapse one year after the identification of the perpetrator is established through DNA.

Testifying

Mangino testified in July 2004 before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee in support of expanding Megan's Law. Megan's Law requires community notification of sexual offenders. It was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1995.

Mangino suggested expanding the number of sexual offenders subject to public notification. Rendell signed into law Senate Bill 92, expanding Megan's Law by requiring more than 7,000 sexual offenders' identities be made available to the public via the Internet.

The new DNA law was signed Nov. 30, and takes effect Jan. 29. The expanded Megan's Law was signed by Rendell on Nov. 24.




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