New York Penal Code 130.75: Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree is a class B felony charge. Should one face such a charge, immediate contact with a NYC criminal lawyer is imperative. The penal code refers to a duration of three months and is broken down as follows below.
A first-degree charge results if one engages in two or more sexual acts with a child less than eleven years old, including a minimum of one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, or aggravated sexual contact. It is also possible to be charged with Penal Code 130.75 if one is 18 years or older and engages in two or more sexual acts with a child less than 13 years old, including at least one instance of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, or aggravated sexual contact. If one is charged with Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, they cannot be prosecuted for another sexual offense with the same victim, unless the offense occurred outside of the three-month period.
The state of New York defines sexual intercourse as any penetration of the penis into the vagina, however minimal. Intercourse is not exclusive to an erect penis, emission of sexual fluids, or orgasm. Oral sexual conduct is defined as any contact between the mouth and the penis, anus, vulva, or vagina. Anal sexual conduct is defined by the New York court system as any contact between the penis and the anus. Aggravated sexual contact is the inserting of a foreign object into the vagina, urethra, rectum, or anus of a child.
There are several defenses to such a charge. With regards to the time frame, one could argue that the alleged sexual acts did not occur within a three-month window. It is also possible to argue that there were less than two acts: either one or none. These defenses would likely result in a reduced charge, moving away from the First Degree and away from a class B felony.
Of course, the best possible defense would be to argue that no such sexual acts of misconduct occurred at all. The criminal attorney could challenge the prosecution’s time frame, elements of the acts, or the entire situation altogether. Although it is still possible to face reduced charges, the aim of such a defense is a complete dismissal of the case.
A strange but not unheard of defense to such a charge is that the victim and the alleged perpetrator were legally married. Although it is not common for children under 13 years old to be married, it is not impossible. This is particularly true for couples arriving from overseas who have a marriage recognized by the state of New York.
Lastly, there is a statute of limitations for such a charge where the incident must be presented within five years. This statute is not applicable for victims under 18 years of age. However, the limitations period does begin after the victim turns 18 or once the incident is reported to law enforcement.
Because Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree is a class B felony and classified as a violent felony offense, the charge carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years in prison. One must serve at least 6/7 of the sentence before being eligible for parole. First time offenders will still face at least a five-year prison term.
Beyond prison time, the conviction also requires that the perpetrator be registered as a sex offender. Depending on the suspected risk, one will remain on the registry between 20 years and the rest of their life.