Philadelphia criminal appeals lawyer Lloyd Long discusses details surrounding the Pennsylvania’s Superior Court’s decision in the Evan case for sexual assault. Evans was a registered sex offender as the result of a previous case. He entered a negotiated guilty plea to various charges based on illegal sexual contact with a minor and was sentenced to twelve and one-half to twenty-five years’ incarceration.

Before sentencing, he was ordered to undergo a SOAB assessment. The SOAB did not receive the order until 87 days after the plea, rather than 10 as required by law. It obviously could not complete the assessment within the proscribed 90 days after conviction.

Evans sought to preclude the SOAB report at his SVP hearing based on untimeliness. The trial court acknowledged that the report was untimely under 42 Pa.C.S. §9799.24(d), but denied his motion.

The Superior Court affirmed. As with a sentencing claim that is untimely under Pa.R.Crim.P. 704, an SVP respondent seeking relief must demonstrate that the delay resulted in prejudice. Here, Evans was already a sexually violent predator; he had a record of sex crimes dating back to his being sixteen years old, was remorseless, and had a high risk of reoffending. He was also going to spend quite some time in prison and would not be required to register until release. Even though the lower court should have timely ordered the SVP assessment, Evans was not prejudiced by the delay; he did not even allege that he had been.