Sexual Abuse (PL 130.55, 130.60, 130.65) Defense Lawyer - New York City

What is sexual or sex abuse?

In New York, you are guilty of sexual abuse is when you subject another person to sexual contact without that person's consent. Sexual abuse is charged in degrees of severity with third degree being the least severe and first degree being the most severe.

Sexual abuse in the third degree carries a sentence of up to 90 days in jail. Sexual abuse in the second degree, where the lack of consent to sexual contact is due to the victim being unable to provide consent, is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and sex offender registration. Sexual abuse in the first degree is where the unwanted sexual contact occurs with the use of force, while the victim is incapacitated, or under age. Sexual abuse in the first degree carries up to 7 years if there are no prior felony convictions.

Sexual Abuse Penalty Summary

Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree, PL 130.55

  • Unwanted sexual contact
  • Misdemeanor
  • Up to 90 days in jail

Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree, PL 130.60

  • Unwanted sexual contact plus victim incapable of consenting
  • Misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • Sex offender registration

Sexual Abuse 1st Degree, PL 130.65

  • Unwanted sexual contact plus force
  • Felony
  • Up to 7 years in jail
  • Sex offender registration

Sex abuse cases in New York City

Unwanted sexual contact is the core concept of what sexual abuse charges target. This unwanted contact can occur when someone allegedly takes advantage of a crowded subway car and subjects another person to unwanted sexual contact. It can become more serious, and get charged as sexual abuse in the second degree, if the victim is unable to provide consent, such as because they are intoxicated. The most serious version, sexual abuse in the first degree, can happen when unwanted sexual contact is accompanied with physical force or the threat of physical force. Sexual abuse is often charged along with other sex crimes such as forcible touching, rape, aggravated sexual abuse, predatory sexual assault, or other sex crimes. It can even be charged along with non-sex crimes such as assault, harassment, or other crimes.

Sexual abuse defense attorney

With any sexual abuse case, we are prepared to take immediate steps to investigate the allegations and analyze the legality of the charges. In some cases, our defense efforts reveal the presence of a serious mistake or misunderstanding that can lead to dismissal. In other circumstances, we are able to uncover a motive to lie or exaggerate about circumstances that were initially reported to the police. Because sexual assault has the potential to lead to a jail sentence, permanent criminal record, and sex offender registration, it is important to contact us as soon as possible to go over your options.


Statute (Penal Law):

Sexual abuse in the third degree

§ 130.55 Sexual abuse in the third degree.

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree when he or she
subjects another person to sexual contact without the latter's consent;
except that in any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative
defense that (a) such other person's lack of consent was due solely to
incapacity to consent by reason of being less than seventeen years old,
and (b) such other person was more than fourteen years old, and (c) the
defendant was less than five years older than such other person.

Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.


Sexual abuse in the second degree

§ 130.60 Sexual abuse in the second degree.

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree when he or she
subjects another person to sexual contact and when such other person is:

1. Incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less
than seventeen years old; or

2. Less than fourteen years old.

Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.


Sexual abuse in the first degree

§ 130.65 Sexual abuse in the first degree.

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she
subjects another person to sexual contact:

1. By forcible compulsion; or

2. When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being
physically helpless; or

3. When the other person is less than eleven years old; or

4. When the other person is less than thirteen years old and the actor
is twenty-one years old or older.

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