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

June 23, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

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).



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