23 Jun 20

NY Penal Law § 130.65: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

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Last Updated on: 18th August 2023, 05:55 pm

NY Penal Law § 130.65: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

Sexual abuse is a genre of sex crime that entails subjecting another individual to sexual contact without that individual’s consent. Sexual contact, as opposed to sexual intercourse, does not require any penetration. It is defined as touching the sexual or intimate parts of another individual for the purpose of sexual gratification. Sexual or intimate parts can include the genital area, vagina, penis, buttocks, anus, rectum, breasts, mouth and lips. There are four grounds for a sexual abuse in the first degree charge under New York Penal Code section 130.65.


If you employ force

If the alleged victim is physically helpless

If you are over the age of 21 years old and the victim is under 13 years old

If the alleged victim is younger than 11 years old, regardless what your age is


Some Examples

A grown man kissed several of the intimate body parts of his 8 year old niece while she was staying at her grandparents’s house. In a separate case, a man touched a girl child’s vaginal area through her pants. In yet another case, a man rubbed a 10 year old girl’s buttocks with baby oil. In all of these cases, the man involved could face charges and be prosecuted for sexual abuse in the first degree based onthe fact that he touched intimate parts of a child who was younger than 12 years old. The court could come to the conclusion that in each of these cases, the goal of the contact was sexual gratification based on the circumstances of the contact.


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

For any allegations of a sex offense, the first and strongest defense is to establish consent. If you can demonstrate that an adult victim consented to the sexual contact, then you make it rather difficult for a prosecutor to  proceed with your case. Bear in mind that if you are dealing with a charge of sexual abuse in the first degree on the basis of on sexual contact with a child as defined by the statute, then consent cannot be used as a defense. Children do not have the legal capacity to give their consent for engaging in sex acts.


The Sentence

Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony.  Should you be convicted of this crime, the maximum possible sentence that you can receive is 7 years in prison. Because there is no  required minimum sentence for a conviction of sexual abuse in the first degree, a judge may simply sentence you to probation. If you are sentenced to probation, sexual abuse in the first degree is both a sex crime and a felony requires that your term will be a minimum of 10 years. Moverover, if you get convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree, you will be obligated to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).

Understanding Sexual Assault Laws in New York

In New York, the law classifies assault into many different categories. In most circumstances, assault is when one individual causes injury to another. Sexual assault is one of the most serious types of assault and occurs when one individual uses a weapon or force to sexually assault another. Although rape is the most common type of sexual assault, there are many other types that include sexual abuse, forcible touching, sexual misconduct, sexual misconduct against a minor, and committing sexual assault with a controlled substance.

If convicted, these charges can result in an individual having to register as a sex offender and a prison sentence. The consequences of these crimes are serious, so it is vital to consult with a criminal defense attorney with experience handling sexual assault cases.

What are Some of the Types of Sexual Assault?

Third degree sexual abuse and second degree sexual abuse includes sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, and forcible touching and are considered misdemeanor sex crimes. Those who are charged with forcible touching are accused of inappropriately touching another individual to receive sexual pleasure.

According to New York Penal Law 130.52, sexual misconduct happens if an individual engages in oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with another without consent. New York Penal Law 130.20 states that any individual who subjects another to sexual contact without consent will be charged with sexual abuse in the third degree.

N.Y. Penal Law 130.55 states that second degree sexual abuse occurs when an individual subjects another to sexual contact, and the individual is not capable of giving consent (other than being less than 17 years old).

According to New York Penal Law 130.00, rape occurs when an individual has forced sexual intercourse with another. However, the law states that penetration must take place for an individual to be charged with rape. New York Penal Law 130.25 states that if convicted of rape, an individual could face up to four years in prison.

New York law states that individuals who are charged with rape in the second degree could face up to seven years in prison, as this charge is a class D felony. A second degree rape charge may include individuals who engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is under the age of 15.

First degree rape is classified as when an individual has forcible sexual intercourse with another, has sexual intercourse with an individual who is physically restricted, or has sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 11. The penalty for first degree rape in New York could result in a prison sentence of 25 years.

Sentence Considerations for Sexual Assault Convictions

The sentence for those convicted of sexual assault will vary based on how they were charged. Sexual assaults that are misdemeanors will result in the least amount of sentence time, and sexual assaults that are classified as felonies will lead to longer prison sentences. In addition, if an individual has at least one prior felony conviction, his or her sentence could be more severe.

Aside from a lengthy prison sentence, those convicted of sexual assault are required to register as a sex offender. The New York Sex Offender Registration Act states that those convicted of a sexual crime must stay registered for at least 20 years. However, those who are thought to be at an increased risk for repeated crimes will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.

Those convicted of sexual assault may also have to pay costly fines. In most cases, the fines can range from $5,000 to $15,000. However, if a victim has extensive medical bills, the court may raise the fine to cover the medical costs. When individuals fail to pay their fines, it could result in a misdemeanor charge or wage garnishment.

If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact the Spodek Law Group. Since 1976, the law firm has been serving those in the New York area. The skilled team can ensure your rights are protected when you are facing a sexual assault conviction.