A mandatory minimum sentence imposed upon a convicted sex offender for failing to comply with a statutory registration requirement is constitutional, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Com. v. Pennybaker, __ A.3d __ (No. 1068 WDA 2014, filed July 28, 2015). Keith Pennybaker is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) as a result of a 1997 rape conviction. Following his release from prison in 2013, Pennybaker failed to register and was charged with one count of failure to comply with registration requirements. The trial court sentenced him to the mandatory minimum of 36 to 72 months required by 42 Pa. C.S. §9718.4. Pennybaker appealed his sentence to the Superior Court.
On appeal, Pennybaker asserted that Section 9718.4 is unconstitutional because it requires a judge to find a “fact” that triggers the mandatory minimum sentence (i.e., the length of the registration requirement) by a preponderance of evidence standard. Pennybaker argued that “