2012 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Chapter 55 - Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses
Section 5509 - Desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects

     § 5509.  Desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects.
        (a)  Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the
     second degree if he:
            (1)  intentionally desecrates any public monument or
        structure, or place of worship or burial;
            (2)  intentionally desecrates any other object of
        veneration by the public or a substantial segment thereof in
        any public place;
            (3)  sells, attempts to sell or removes with intent to
        sell a veteran's marker as described in section 1913 of the
        act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as The County
        Code. This paragraph shall not apply to the sale of veterans'
        markers authorized by statute; or
            (4)  intentionally receives, retains or disposes of a
        veteran's marker or item decorating a veteran's grave knowing
        that the item has been stolen, or believing that it has
        probably been stolen, unless it has been received, retained
        or disposed of with the intent to return it to the owner.
        (a.1)  Historic burial lots and burial places.--A person
     commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if the person
     intentionally desecrates a historic burial lot or historic
     burial place.
        (b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
        "Desecrate."  Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise
     physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will
     outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or
     discover the action.
        "Historic burial lot."  An individual burial site within a
     historic burial place.
        "Historic burial place."  A tract of land which has been:
            (1)  in existence as a burial ground for more than 100
        years; or
            (2)  listed in or eligible for the National Register of
        Historic Places as determined by the Pennsylvania Historical
        and Museum Commission.
     (May 4, 2001, P.L.3, No.3, eff. 60 days; Dec. 16, 2003, P.L.233,
     No.41, eff. 60 days; Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1419, No.116, 60 days)

        2008 Amendment.  Section 2 of Act 116 provided that the
     amendment shall apply to offenses committed on or after the
     effective date of section 2.
        2003 Amendment.  Section 2 of Act 41 provided that the
     amendment of section 5509 shall apply to offenses committed on
     or after the effective date of Act 41.
        Cross References.  Section 5509 is referred to in section
     3307 of this title.

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