The New York Penal Code enumerates three different crimes in the criminal sexual act category. The most serious of the crimes in this category is criminal sexual act in the first degree. Criminal sexual act in the first degree is a classified as a class B felony.
Elements of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree
Criminal sexual act in the first degree involves engaging in anal or oral sex with another individual under a specific set of circumstances. Criminal sexual act in the first degree involves anal or oral sex by forcible compulsion or with a person who is physically helpless. This crime also occurs when it involves a child under the age of 11. In addition, the crime occurs when the victim is a child under the age of 13 and the perpetrator is at least 18-years old.
The statute further defines specifically what constitutes anal or oral sex for the purposes of this crime. All of these elements must be satisfied in order for a person to be prosecuted under this provision of the New York Penal Code.
Examples of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree
An example of criminal sexual act in the first degree is two adults, a man and a woman, drinking alcoholic beverages. The woman consumes in excess and passes out.
While the woman is passed out, the man engages in oral contact with the woman’s vaginal area. This would constitute criminal sexual act in the first degree because it meets the description of the type of conduct anticipated by the statute. In addition, the act occurred while the woman was physically helpless.
Another example involves an 18-year old young man who entices a 12-year old to perform oral sex on him. The 18-year old cannot make the argument that the 12-year old willingly participated. A minor cannot consent to sexually contact.
Sentence for Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree
Criminal sexual act in the first degree is classified as a class B felony. As a result, in New York, a person convicted of the crime can be sentenced up to 25 years in prison. If the crime is further classified as a violent offense, a defendant would face a mandatory five years incarcerated.
Probation may also be a part of a person’s sentence when convicted for criminal sexual act in the first degree. The mandatory probationary term is 10 years in this type of case. A person will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. This will likely be a lifetime requirement.
Defenses for Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree
If an adult is the alleged victim, a valid defense would be consent to the sexual act. If a defendant can demonstrate the other adult party in fact consented to the act, prosecuting this type of case would become next to impossible. The only potential exception would arise from a demonstration that the purported consent was coerced.
Another defense may be that you lacked the necessary intent to be guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree. A person may be guilty of a lesser charge, but not criminal sexual act in the first degree, if he or she lacked the necessary criminal intent.
An NYC criminal attorney can provide insights into possible defenses in a criminal sexual act in the first degree case. A defense attorney will schedule an initial consultation to discuss a case, and to provide an overall case evaluation. This includes an analysis of potential defense strategies. As a general rule, a criminal defense lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.