Superior Court upholds Sexually Violent Predator determination by McKean County Court

(SMETHPORT, Pennsylvania):  By Opinion filed June 14, 2022, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a McKean County Judge’s determination that Gage Ortiz-Rodriquez must register as a Sexually Violent Predator.

District Attorney Stephanie L. Vettenburg-Shaffer reports that Ortiz-Rodriquez was sentenced to 6 years to 12 years in the Department of Corrections on charges of Sexual Abuse of Children; Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse; Solicitation to Commit Sexual Assault; and other crimes after being charged by Chief County Detective Ryan Yingling and Port Allegany Police Officer Tony Tanner with sex crimes against two minor children.  He was ordered to undergo an assessment with the Sex Offender Assessment Board.  Thereafter, District Attorney Vettenburg-Shaffer asked the Court to find Ortiz-Rodriquez is a Sexually Violent Predator. DA Vettenburg-Shaffer says the designation as Sexually Violent Predator ("SVP") imposes additional requirements on those convicted of sex offenses and found to meet the definition of SVP including lifetime registration as a sex offender under the law formerly known as Megan’s Law which is a law aimed at community protection. 

Ortiz-Rodriquez appealed the designation and asked the Superior Court to find that the McKean County Judge erred or abused its discretion relating to the hearing and the Court's findings where the Court found Ortiz-Rodriquez met the definition of Sexually Violent Predator.

The opinion of the Superior Court affirms the Trial Court’s opinion finding that the District Attorney’s Office presented clear and convincing evidence to support the Trial Court’s opinion.

Ortiz-Rodriquez remains incarcerated in state prison as a result of his sentence and will be required to register as a Sexually Violent Predator for his lifetime.