The phrase "sex crime" is a generic term applied to any criminal allegation involving sexual activity such as rape, child molestation, sexual abuse, sexual battery, indecent exposure, prostitution, and lewd conduct. Being accused of a sex crime in Pennsylvania could ruin every aspect of one's life. A sex crime charge will affect your reputation, your liberty, where you live, who you talk to, how you travel were you work, literally every aspect of your life. Because of the publicity of past cases involving sex related offenses, especially those involving children, a person facing charges will more than likely face potential prejudice and discrimination from law enforcement, the jury and even court personnel.
The general designation of “sex crime” also includes allegations of attempted sexual misconduct arising out of an internet sex investigation that don't actually involve real people. Increasingly law enforcement officers are taking to the internet on web-sites like Craigslist and advertising to meet individual interested in sexual activity. Then setting them up for arrest. These investigations often begin with online advertisements that purport to involve adults, but ultimately, in a bait and switch, turn into the police pretending to be a child interested in sexual activity. Criminal charges related to such cases include soliciting a child to engage in sexual activity, traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual.
All states, including Pennsylvania, have severe penalties in place for felony sex crime convictions. If convicted of most sex offenses, the convicted will have to register as a sex offender under Pennsylvania's Megan Law, which usually includes having their photograph posted on the internet.