While there is little doubt Stodghill will be required to register as a sex offender, it is unclear if this will be for the 10 year or lifetime registration period.
Among the convictions that would require someone to register for ten years is indecent assault "where the offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher." Lifetime registration would require two or more of such offenses.
Of Stodghill's recent guilty pleas, only one qualifies: his June, 2009 conviction for "aggravated sexual assault" of a 12 year old girl. His guilty plea for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl in 1999 is considered a second degree misdemeanor.
His first known conviction of sexual assault, of an eleven year old Carlisle girl in 1995, also ended with a guilty plea. Due to the girl's age, this appears to be considered a first degree misdemeanor. Regardless, it is uncertain if a sexual assault committed in August 1995 would apply to the current Megans Law assessment as Megans Laws wasn't enacted in Pennsylania until April 1996.
There are other conditions surrounding Megans Law that I may have overlooked, and it is also possible that additional charges could be forthcoming against Stodghill that could make him eligible for lifetime Megans Law registration requirements, but his lifelong history of sexual assault against minors alone makes a four to eight year prison sentence and ten year notification period seem very short.
To summarize Stodghill's history of sexual assault convictions:
- August 1995: Stodghill, aged 22, sexually assaults an 11 year old girl in Carlisle, PA, and receives 5 to 23 months as part of a guilty plea (a charge of aggravated indecent assault is dismissed). The following April, he is paroled after serving 5 months in prison.
- March 1999: Stodghill, 26, sexually assaults a 13 year old girl in Hampden, PA. Before police can question him, he flees with his wife and two year old daughter to Ocean City, Maryland. Five months later he is arrested and extradited. According to sources, the victim is too frightened of Stodghill to testify and charges are initially dropped, then renewed eleven years later in 2010.
- June 2009: Stodghill, 37, sexually assaults a 12 year old girl in Shippensburg, PA. He flees to Los Angeles, California, where Federal Marshalls and Immigration and Customs agents track him down and arrest him seven months later. Sentencing for this and the 1999 assault are pending.