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New York Penal Code 130 80 Course Sexual Conduct Child Second Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 01:06 pm

New York Penal Code 130.80 Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree

New York Penal Code 130.80 covers the crime of engaging in a course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree. This is a serious felony offense that can lead to years in prison and being labeled as a registered sex offender. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes this crime, penalties, and possible defenses.

What is Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree?

Under New York law, a person commits course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree when they engage in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 11 years old over a period of at least three months. It also applies to those 18 or older who engage in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 13 years old over at least three months[1].

Sexual conduct is defined as:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Oral sexual conduct
  • Anal sexual conduct
  • Aggravated sexual contact
  • Sexual contact[1]

So this charge applies when there are multiple instances of sexual abuse against a young child over an extended period. Even if each individual act may not rise to another level of sexual assault, the pattern of conduct can lead to prosecution under 130.80.

Penalties and Sentencing

Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is a class D felony under New York law[2]. This means potential penalties include:

  • Up to 7 years in prison[3]
  • Fines up to $5,000[4]
  • Sex offender registration for at least 20 years[5]

Sentencing depends on the exact circumstances of the case and criminal history of the defendant. But this is a registerable offense, meaning anyone convicted will be placed on New York’s sex offender registry. This brings additional restrictions like limits on employment and housing.


There are several possible defenses if accused of course of sexual conduct against a child:

  • Mistaken identity: Argue the defendant was misidentified and did not actually commit the acts.
  • False accusations: If there is reason to believe the child was coerced or has made false allegations out of custody disputes or other reasons.
  • Lack of sexual intent: The sexual conduct needs to be for the purpose of sexual gratification. The defense could argue innocent intent.
  • No sexual conduct occurred: Argue the alleged acts did not meet the definition of sexual conduct under NY law.
  • Timeframe challenge: Question if the acts truly occurred over a period of at least three months as required.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the prosecution’s evidence and determine the best defense strategy for each particular case.

Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is part of a spectrum of sex crime laws involving minors in New York. Some related statutes include:

  • Rape in the first degree – NY Penal Code 130.35
  • Criminal sexual act in the first degree – NY Penal Code 130.50
  • Sexual abuse in the first degree – NY Penal Code 130.65
  • Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree – NY Penal Code 130.70

The degree and penalties vary based on the age of the victim, acts committed, and other circumstances. It’s important to consult with a lawyer to understand how the charges compare.

Federal Considerations

While course of sexual conduct against a child is prosecuted under New York state law, there can also be federal charges for child sexual exploitation and abuse. Offenses like production and distribution of child pornography often involve federal statutes[6].

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security may get involved in investigating sex crimes against minors, even when charges are brought on the state level. This is an additional complexity when facing allegations.

Consequences of a Conviction

A conviction under NY Penal Code 130.80 can completely upend a person’s life. Years in prison will be followed by sex offender registration bringing many restrictions on housing, employment, and more. Families of the convicted can also suffer emotionally and financially. And alleged victims may be traumatized by long trials. There is no winning situation with these types of cases.

Facing charges under course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is extremely serious. Even false allegations can destroy careers, relationships and reputations if not properly defended. Those accused should immediately retain an experienced sex crimes lawyer. An attorney can evaluate the evidence, build a strong defense, and advocate for the best possible resolution of the case. Time is of the essence, so consulting with a lawyer quickly is imperative. With the right legal guidance, some individuals can avoid harsh penalties or even have charges reduced or dismissed. This complex area of criminal law requires expert representation.


New York Penal Code 130.80 aims to punish those who engage in repeated sexual abuse of young children over extended periods of time. While each act may not be criminal on its own, the pattern of conduct crosses a line into a serious felony offense. Anyone facing charges of course of sexual conduct against a child should seek legal counsel right away to protect their rights and future. With skilled defense, some outcomes short of conviction may be possible. But these complex cases require the expertise of an experienced sex crimes lawyer.

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