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Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:34 pm
In New York, the crime of Course Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree is defined under Penal Law § 130.80. This law makes it illegal for an adult to engage in repeated acts of sexual contact with a child less than 14 years old over a period of time not less than three months.
Let’s break down the key elements of this offense:
Course of conduct – This refers to a pattern of behavior consisting of two or more acts over a period of at least three months. The acts don’t have to be the exact same each time, but they must be similar in nature and occur close in time to each other.
Sexual contact – This means any touching of the sexual or intimate parts of a child for the purpose of sexual gratification of the adult. Touching can be either directly on skin or on clothing covering these areas.
Child less than 14 – The victim must be under the age of 14 at the time of the acts.
The purpose of § 130.80 is to criminalize and impose serious penalties on adults who establish long-term abusive relationships with children involving ongoing sexual misconduct. The legislature recognized that repeated victimization over time can have severe and lasting impacts on a child’s physical and emotional well-being.
This offense is more serious than a one-time act of abuse. By engaging in a pattern over three months or more, the perpetrator demonstrates a disturbing level of determination and lack of self-control. The long-term effects on the child are likely to be more pronounced when there are multiple incidents.
Unfortunately, many real cases fall under this statute each year. For example:
– A babysitter who fondles a child’s genitals every time he comes over to watch them for a period of five months.
– A coach who makes a team member touch his crotch repeatedly after practices over several seasons.
– A parent’s live-in girlfriend who gets into bed with his 9-year-old daughter on multiple occasions and touches her inappropriately.
– A neighbor who exposes himself and masturbates in front of neighborhood kids ages 10-12 whenever he sees them playing outside over the summer.
As these examples illustrate, § 130.80 covers a wide range of disturbing conduct targeting vulnerable children. The law provides enhanced punishment for such cruel and abusive actions.
Course sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is a Class D felony under New York law. Let’s look at the potential imprisonment terms and fines:
– Prison: The maximum sentence is 2 to 7 years in state prison. However, first-time offenders sometimes get probation if they take a plea deal and have no prior record. Repeat offenders face stiffer sentences.
– Probation: Defendants may receive up to 10 years probation supervision if prison time is not handed down. They must comply with strict conditions or risk incarceration.
– Fines: Up to $5,000 in fines can be imposed at sentencing. These are paid to the court.
– Sex offender registration: Those convicted are also required to register as sex offenders under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). This brings lifelong reporting requirements, residence rules, and other restrictions.
– Restitution: If the victim needs counseling or other support services to recover, restitution may be ordered to cover those costs. This is paid directly to the victim.
As you can see, the consequences are quite serious if convicted under § 130.80. The long-lasting trauma caused to victims is reflected in the lengthy prison terms and sex offender registration requirements defendants face.
Some viable defenses that may apply in fighting these allegations include:
– False accusations – The allegations may stem from a misunderstanding, custody dispute, or outright lie. The lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt could lead to dismissal.
– Mistaken identity – Someone else who looks like the defendant may have committed the acts. Eyewitness misidentification is common.
– Consent – If the victim was actually over 14 at the time, consent may be a valid defense depending on the circumstances. The age difference between parties will be scrutinized.
– Alibi – If the defendant can establish they were elsewhere during parts of the time period in question, it casts doubt on the pattern of conduct alleged.
– Intoxication – Evidence of heavy drug/alcohol use by the accuser could undermine their credibility and recollection of events.
An experienced NY sex crimes lawyer can evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence and build an appropriate defense to defeat these very serious allegations.
Facing charges under Penal Code § 130.80 can be overwhelming. The risks include years behind bars, a lifetime sex offender record, and reputation destruction. That’s why it’s critical to have a tough NY sex crime defense lawyer in your corner.
An attorney from Spodek Law Group P.C. will immediately start investigating the prosecution’s claims. We leave no stone unturned in looking for inconsistencies, evidentiary problems, and constitutional violations. Our sole focus is defending you and seeking the best possible outcome.
Some key ways we fight these charges:
– Aggressively cross-examining witnesses – Their credibility often crumbles under scrutiny.
– Consulting with expert witnesses – They can discredit state experts regarding victim behavior, memories, etc.
– Digging into the accuser’s background – We look for motives to lie and other red flags that raise doubts.
– Pinpointing sloppy police work – Procedural errors by law enforcement can undermine their whole case.
– Negotiating with prosecutors – We leverage issues to get charges reduced or dismissed through plea deals.
– Preparing a strong defense for trial – Many of these cases can be defeated at trial when done right.
The stakes are high, but an acquittal or dropped charges are possible. Don’t go it alone against seasoned prosecutors – call Spodek Law Group P.C. at (212) 300-5196 for superior representation. Consultations are free and completely confidential.
We have over 45 years of combined experience successfully defending NY sex crime cases. Our attorneys will treat you with respect and keep fighting relentlessly in your corner. Trust our award-winning team to protect your future.
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