Being charged with a crime of any magnitude is never something you look forward to, but sexually based offenses can be particularly troubling. Persistent sexual abuse is a charge that law enforcement officials occasionally lob at individuals who are believed to be a repeat offender in any of sexual categories including forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the second category. Each of these offenses on their own might be a misdemeanor, but a third conviction within the span of ten years can result in the charge of persistent sexual abuse, which is a felony. This carries an almost certain jail sentence if convicted, which speaks to the importance of hiring a NYC criminal lawyer if you are every charge with this crime.
The Rationale Behind New York Penal Code 130.53
This law was created in order to address repeat sexual offenders, particularly in the lower classification of crimes typically viewed as misdemeanors. Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor, sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, while sexual abuse in the their degree is a class B misdemeanor. When any of these crimes are first committed, that particular charge is typically levied against the accused. If it become a repeat offense, however, the more serious felony charge of persistent sexual abuse is handed out regardless of which of the three types of sex crimes was committed.
Forcible touching is defined as the intentional touching of one or more sexual or intimate parts of another individual without their consent as a way of receiving some form of sexual gratification. In this case, touching is further defined as the squeezing, grabbing, or pinching of an intimate or sexual part of the body. The New York Penal Code defines sexual abuse in the second degree as subjecting another individual to sexual contact when the other person in question is under 14 years of age, or when a person under the age of 17 is seen as being incapable of consent. Finally, a charge of sexual abuse in the third degree can be sought if the accused is believe to have subjected another individual to sexual contact with his or her consent.
For each of these crimes, penalties range from probation to one year in jail. There is no minimum sentence. If the individual is accused more than twice, however, a more serious felony charge of persistent sexual abuse will likely be sought. A NYC criminal attorney will need to be consulted in such a case in order to determine the best lie of defense.
Defenses Against Persistent Sexual Abuse
At first glance, this charge will be difficult to defend because the accused will already have been convicted of sex crime a few times i the past. NYC criminal lawyers, however, will look at the case from all angles to determine if the charge is warranted. This begins with an examination of statute of limitations to make sure that the arrest occurred within two years of the alleged incident. Beyond that, NYC criminal attorneys will look at matters of intent and consent. In the case of forcible touching, for example, it is important to determine if the accused actually intended to touch the other person in a sexual manner or if he/she did so accidentally. Another defense will be consent. If the other person is believed to have granted his or her consent to the sexual contact, there is a defense to be mounted.