The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

April 23, 2014

Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

SHARON — The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

After a hearing Tuesday, Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher St. John ruled that Justin Fay Moore, 24, of Burghill is a violent sexual offender under Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law.

The designation includes the lifetime requirement for Moore to register his address with police every time he moves.

St. John sentenced Moore to 9 to 23 months in Mercer County Jail, to pay court costs and to serve 3 years of state-supervised probation. Moore will have to pay for his treatment as a sexual offender and for alcoholism.

After a plea agreement, Moore entered an Alford plea Jan. 13 to a single felony charge of corrupting the morals of minors. He had been charged with 10 counts of corruption of minors and indecent exposure.

In making an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit his guilt but acknowledges that sufficient evidence likely exists for conviction at trial.

The plea can be used in cases when a defendant doesn’t remember his actions because of the effects of alcohol, drugs or mental condition.

Moore said he was drunk after consuming most of a fifth of whiskey Sept. 19 and he didn’t remember stopping the van he was driving near the girls and exposing himself and masturbating in front of them. They ranged between 10 and 15 years of age.

St. John based the sexually violent predator ruling on a report by a licensed clinical social worker. Brenda A. Manno of Shippenville, Pa., reviewed Moore’s background that included three previous sexual offenses.

In two cases in Ohio, he had pleaded guilty to public indecency in 2009 after masturbating in a bus and in a library and to sexual imposition involving a 13-year-old girl in 2010. He pleaded guilty to open lewdness in 2012 in Sharon.

He was on probation for that charge of masturbating in his van next to a pedestrian when he was arrested for the same offense involving the school girls.

There was no evidence that Moore had physically injured anyone. However, Manno said his touching of the 13-year-old victim and his deviant behavior toward strangers met the law’s definitions of violent and predatory sexual offenses.

“We have an established pattern of behavior,” Manno said. “He has been caught several times and he has not chosen to change the behavior that gets him arrested.”

Under questioning by St. John, Moore said he didn’t know the reason for his sexual offenses.

“I’ve never been given an opportunity to talk about it. I don’t understand it myself,” he said. “I know that it’s wrong and that I shouldn’t be doing it but it’s almost like it’s out of my control.”

St. John noted that Moore’s girlfriend of the last several years is pregnant with his child and that he has been acting as a father to her 4-year-old son.

He gave Moore credit for 215 days’ served, cleared him for parole after serving the minimum sentence and made him eligible for work release as long as his good behavior to date in jail continues.

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