New York Penal Code 130.60 makes it a misdemeanor to engage in sexual contact with another individual without that person’s consent. A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree if he or she sexually contacts another person and that person is:
1. Unable to consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 17 years old or
2. Is less than 14 years old.
New York Penal Code section 130.00(3) defines sexual contact as “the touching of the sexual or intimate parts of another person for sexual gratification.” The genital area, vagina, penis, anus, rectum, buttock, breasts, lips and moth are among the sexual or intimate parts of the human body that this law pertains to.
It is important to note that second degree sexual abuse is not sexual intercourse, defined as when the penis penetrates the vagina, nor does it involve anal or oral sex.
Although the New York Penal Code defines sexual abuse in the second degree as a sex crime, it is not a felony. Sexual abuse in the second degree is one of three types of sexual abuse crimes in the state of New York. The other two sexual abuse crimes in New York are first degree and third degree sexual abuse.
Examples of the crime
An adult man playing with his friend’s 10-year old daughter who without warning places his hand down her shorts to fondle her vagina and an adult woman who fondles a 12-year old boy’s penis could be charged with sexual abuse in the second degree because they each had sexual contact with children who were under 14-years of age. Evidence presented at trial could also point out that the contact gave the adults sexual pleasure.
There are several defenses a NYC criminal lawyer can raise when he or she has a client charged with second degree sexual abuse.
If the defendant can show that the alleged victim consented to the sexual contact, a prosecuting attorney will have a difficult time proving the case in court. However, if the defendant has been charged with second degree sexual abuse as a result of sexual contact with someone under 14, consent is not a valid defense because children under 14 do not have the legal ability to consent to sexual acts.
A defense attorney can also attempt to convince the court that the sexual contact was unintentional or accidental and that sexual gratification was not the object of the contact.
If you are convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree in New York, your maximum sentence is a year in jail. Your sentence can also include six years of probation. In handing down the sentence, a judge will consider the nature and details of the crime that too place and the defendant’s background and criminal history.
If you are found guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree, you are also required to comply with the New York Sex Offender Registration Act for at least 20 years and for perhaps the remainder of your life.
If you are accused of sexual abuse in the second degree, you need a New York-based attorney who is available 24/7. With over 50 years of experience on our team, New York Criminal Attorneys is ready to help. Visit us at nyccriminalattorneys.com to set up a free initial consultation.