23 Jun 20

NY Penal Law § 130.60: Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree

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Last Updated on: 5th August 2023, 01:15 am

NY Penal Law § 130.60: Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree

Sexual abuse in the second degree as defined in New York Penal Code section 130.60 is a sex crime and it is a class A misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. If you engage in sexual contact with another individual without that individual’s consent and that lack of consent is based on a reason other than that the victim is under 17 years old, or if the victim is a child who is younger than 14 years old, you will face this charge.


For the purposes of this discussoion, sexual contact is different as sexual intercourse or oral or anal sexual conduct. Sexual contact is defined in New York Penal Code section 130.00(3) as touching the sexual or intimate areas of another person’s body for sexual gratification. Sexual or intimate parts include the genital area, vagina, penis, buttocks, anus, rectum, breasts, mouth and lips.


Some Examples

While playing with his 9 year old granddaughter, a man put his hand inside her underwear, touching her vagina. In another case, a mother fondled the penis of her son who was 11 years old. In both cases, the adults could be prosecuted for sexual abuse in the second degree as they initiated sexual contact with children who were younger than 14 years of age. A prosecutor could prove that the touching was for sexual gratification by simply demonstrating that, based on the circumstances, no other reasonable explanation exists for such behavior.


Offenses that are Related

Endangering the welfare of a child: New York Penal Code section 260.10

Forcible touching: New York Penal Code section 130.52


Possible Defenses

The strongest defense against any accusation of a sex offense is consent. If you can prove that an adult victim consented to the sexual contact, then the prosecutor will have a tough time moving forward with the case. Bear in mind, however, that if you are looking at a charge of sexual abuse in the second degree based on sexual contact with a child who was under the age of 14, consent cannot be a valid defense.  Children do not have the legal capacity to give their consent to sex acts.


The Sentence

Since sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, if you are convicted, the maximum sentence that you could possibly receive is 1 year in jail. That sentence could also include a 6 year probation term. In determining your sentence, the judge will take into account the crime committed, the particulars of the crime, your criminal history and your personal background. If you are a first time offender, then your sentence will likely be less severe than if you have a criminal background.


Like most other sex crimes, sexual abuse in the second degree is a registrable offense under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act. This means that you will be required to follow the rules for registered sex offenders for at least 20 years and perhaps for the rest of your life.