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NY Penal Law § 13020 Sexual Misconduct

June 23, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 130.20: Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is classiified as a sex crime. You have committed sexual misconduct under the New York Penal Code section 130.20 if you take any of these actions:


Engage in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent

Engage in oral sex or anal sex with another person without that person’s consent

Engage in sexual conduct with an animal or a corpse


The New York Penal Code has clear definitions for “oral sexual conduct,” “sexual intercourse,” and “anal sexual conduct.” Sexual intercourse has its conventional meaning– a penis entering into a vagina. It is not important if the penetration was not complete. Any penetration is sufficient for to establish sexual intercourse for the purpose of a charge of sexual misconduct or any other sex offense that involves sexual intercourse. Oral sexual conduct speaks of sexual contact between one person’s mouth and another person’s penis, the mouth and a person’s anus, or the mouth and a person’s vagina or vulva. Anal sexual conduct referrs to contact between the penis and a person’s anus.



A 25-year-old man puts his mouth on the vagina and the breasts of a  girl who is 15 years old. In such a case no consent can be claimed because the 15 year old girl was under the age to have the legal capacity to consent to the oral sex. In such a case, the man might be prosecuted for sexual misconduct.


Offenses that are Related to Sexual Misconduct:

Forcible touching: New York Penal Code section 130.52

Sexual abuse in the third degree: New York Penal Code section 130.55

Sexual abuse in the second degree: New York Penal Code section 130.60


Defense Strategies

If you can demonstrate that the accuser gave their consent tto the sexual act, or that you had good reason to believe that there was consent, this may be a valid defense against a charge of sexual misconduct. Bear mind, however, that this defense could not help you if the victim did not have the capacity to consent.


An additional possibility for defense is the statute of limitations. If the event took place more than 2 years prior to the date you were charged, then the statute of limitations bars prosecution. Nonetheless, if the accuser who is charging you with the sexual misconduct was under 18 years old at the time of the incident, the limitations time frame does not begin until the victim turns 18 years old or until a report of the incident is made to law enforcement.



Since sexual misconduct is a class A misdemeanor, the maximum possible sentence is incarceration for up to one year. You may alternatively get a probation term of 6 years especially if you have no  prior criminal record. Regardless of whether your sentence is incarceration or probation, if you get convicted of sexual misconduct under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) this would require you to register as a sex offender for 20 years or longer.


Contact the Law Offices of Attorney Jeremy Feigenbaum

The repercussions of getting charged or convicted of sexual misconduct are long lasting, affecting multiple aspects of not only your life, but also the lives of your family members. There may be numerous possible ways to defend against a sexual misconduct charge that only an experienced New York sexual misconduct lawyer will comprehend and be able to effectively employ in your case. The team at the Law Offices of Attorney Jeremy Feigenbaum has years of expertise successfully defending our clients in New York criminal courts who have faced sex crime charges including aggravated sexual abuse, criminal sexual act in the first degree, as well as other crimes of this genre like sexual misconduct, forcible touching, criminal sexual act, female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, sexual conduct against child, and facilitating a sexual offense with a controlled substance.



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