According to New York law, rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse committed against another individual through the use of physical force or because the alleged victim is under some other type of duress or incapacity. The consequences of being convicted of rape are serious, and can extend over the course of an offender’s lifetime.
The Three Degrees of Rape Pursuant to New York Law
New York state statutes establish three degrees of rape. Third degree is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person who is not capable of consenting because of some factor other than being under the age of 17. Consent to sexual intercourse is not possible because the person is incapacitated in some manner.
Second degree rape in New York is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 15 years of age, and the perpetrator is 18 years of age or older. The person under the age of 15 years of age is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse because of mentally disabled or is mentally incapacitated.
First degree rape involves engaging in sexual intercourse with another through the use of physical force or the threat of immediate death, physical injury or kidnapping. This is the most serious type of rape charge in the state of New York.
Statutory Rape in New York
In addition to the three degrees of rape, a person in New York can be charged with statutory rape in certain situations. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person less than 17 years of age. According to New York law, a person under the age of 17 is not capable of legally consenting to engaging in sexual intercourse.
Penalties for Rape in New York
Third degree is a Class E felony. If convicted of third degree rape, a person faces a term of incarceration of up to four years and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.
Second degree rape is a Class D felony. A second degree rape conviction can result in a prison sentence of one to seven years, and up to $5,000 in fines.
Finally, a conviction of first degree rape can result in a prison sentence of five to 25 years, and a fine of up to $5,000. First degree rape is a Class B felony.
Upon conviction for rape, a person will be required to register on the sex offender register. The failure to register, or keep a registration current, can result in an additional criminal charge.
Defenses for Rape
One defense in a rape case is lack of knowledge of an alleged victim’s inability to consent to sexual intercourse. The lack of knowledge centers on the alleged victim’s inability to consent because of a mental disability or incapacitation.
Another defense is that the defendant was less than four years older than the victim in the case of a second degree rape charge. A defense to rape is that the alleged perpetrator is the spouse of the alleged victim. This defense can be raised when the alleged victim was deemed incapable of consenting because of age, mental health or other specified restriction.
A person charge with rape can defend the case by contending that he is not the perpetrator, that someone else is responsible for the crime. This type of defense is possible in situations in which there is a lack of physical evidence to support sexual contact between the defendant and the alleged victim.
A fairly commonly utilized defense in certain rape cases is that the alleged victim voluntarily consented to engage in sexual intercourse. This is one of the most commonly utilized defenses in a New York rape case. This type of defense commonly arises in what the media, and some members of the public, refer to as a “date rape” case. This is a rape case that arises out of interaction between two individuals that know each other, at least to some degree.
A defense strategy in a good many rape cases is striving to obtain a plea agreement with the prosecution. The objective in this strategy is to seek an agreement with the prosecutor to reduce the charges upon a plea. Associated with this element of a resolution of a case is an agreement to a certain sentence to be proposed to the court.
What commonly is referred to as an insanity defense may be possible in a rare number of rape cases. This is complicated, challenging defense to mount and is not commonly used.
Retain Bronx Rape Lawyers
The first step in hiring Bronx rape attorneys is to arrange for what is known as an initial consultation. Through an initial consultation, a person charged with rape can obtain an overall evaluation of his case. This includes a consideration of possible defenses that might be mounted in a case. There usually is not attorney fee charged for an initial consultation with a Bronx rape lawyer.