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Staten Island Rape Lawyers

New York state law classifies rape in three categories, according to the New York Penal Code. Rape represents one of the most serious types of crimes for which a person can be prosecuted. As a consequence, a person charged with rape needs to understand the general elements of applicable law, needs to understand legal rights and must appreciate the importance of retaining a skilled, experienced Staten Island rape lawyer.

Definition of Rape

New York state law defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse perpetrated on an alleged victim by force, coercion, threat of physical force or other type of duress. Pursuant to New York rape statutes, sexual intercourse has its ordinary meaning, and occurs no matter how light the penetration may be in a particular case. Rape has been a crime for centuries, although the penalties have evolved over time, along with who and when a person can be charged with the crime, according to Cornell Law School.

Degrees of Rape

First degree rape in New York is defined as sexual intercourse perpetrated by force. In addition, a person can be charged with first degree rape if the alleged victim is less than 11 years of age or if the alleged victim is less than 13 years of age and the alleged perpetrator is 18 years of age or older.

Second degree rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a person incapable of consenting because of being mentally disabled or incapacitated. Second degree can also be charged if the alleged victim is under the age of 15 and the alleged perpetrator is over the age of 18.

Finally, third degree rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a person incapable of consent for some reason other than being under the age of 17. A person can be charged with third degree rape if he is over the age of 21 and the alleged victim is less than 17 years of age.

Statutory rape is another derivation of the crime. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 17. The law in New York presumes that a person under the age of 17 legally is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.

First degree rape is a Class B felony and second degree rape is a Class D felony. Third degree rape is a Class E felony.

Penalties for Rape

A conviction for first degree can result in a prison term of five to 15 years, and a possible fine of up to $5,000. Second degree rape can result in a sentence of one to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Finally, a conviction of third degree rape can result in a prison sentence of up to four years and a $5,000 fine.

In the aftermath of a rape conviction, a person will be required to submit to the sex offender registry in the state of New York. The registry requirement can continue to the remainder of a person’s lifetime after a rape conviction.

A person convicted of rape will also likely be required to obtain counseling or treatment of some nature. This determination can be made on a case-by-case basis.

Defenses for Rape

There are a number of defenses that are used in rape cases. One common defense in a rape case is that the alleged victim consented to engaging in sexual intercourse with the purported perpetrator. The defense of consent oftentimes arises in a so-called “date rape” case.

A defense to certain rape charges is a contention that the alleged perpetrator did not know of an incapacity suffered by the alleged victim. For example, the alleged perpetrator was reasonably unaware that the alleged victim had a mental disease or defect.

Another defense utilized in rape cases involves a contention that someone else committed the crime. A defense attorney will contend that his or her client is wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the crime charged. This most commonly is called an insanity defense.

In some limited instances, a defense in a rape case is the contention that the alleged perpetrator suffers from a mental illness. Even if a person suffers from a mental illness does not mean that the condition rises to the level of legal insanity. An experienced Staten Island rape attorney can ascertain the appropriateness of an insanity defense.

Engage Experienced Staten Island Rape Lawyers

The first step in hiring a Staten Island rape lawyer is scheduling what commonly is referred to as an initial consultation. An initial consultation allows a person charged with rape the ability to obtain an evaluation of the case from legal counsel. In addition, the person charged with rape is able to get answers to questions about the case. There typically is no attorney fee charged for an initial consultation with Staten Island rape lawyers.

What is Rape or Sexual Battery?

When an individual is raped or sexually battered, they may experience low self-esteem, fear, anger and depression. The criminal changes a victim’s life for any number of reasons. Here, we discuss rape and sexual battery and the difference between the two.

Sexual battery

Sexual battery means touching a victim in inappropriate areas without their consent for sexual arousal but not having penetration. For example, if a person touches another’s buttocks or fondles their breasts for sexual arousal without that person’s consent, this is considered sexual battery.


Rape is defined as an individual forcing another to engage in sexual intercourse or any type of sexual act that involves penetration without their consent. An example of this is a man breaking into a home and forcing a woman to have sex against her will. A criminal may use a weapon to engage in this activity, or they may threaten the victim by stating they will harm them or their family if they don’t perform what is requested.

Fraud is another way criminals rape victims. For instance, a therapist might tell her client sex is therapeutic, and they require it to recover.

Misdemeanors or felonies

Sexual battery is generally considered to be a misdemeanor. There are some cases, however, that change that charge to a felony. Some reasons sexual battery is considered a felony are:

  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Sexual contact with an unconscious person
  • Contact where skin is on skin with no clothing.

In some states, if a minor is a certain age, the criminal must be older than the victim by a certain number of years for the act to be considered a crime.

In many states, a person who is of authority over others can receive criminal charges for engaging in sexual acts with a person under their authority. For instance, if a prison guard has sex with one of the prisoners, this can be considered a crime even if the victim consents. The reason for this is people under authority of guards, police officers and other authoritative figures may be incapable of knowing voluntary consent because they may fear saying no.

Defendant’s reasoning

Defendant’s generally plead not-guilty to either of these crimes. In many cases, they may not be guilty, but that will be decided in a court of law. One defense they may use is that they weren’t actually the criminal, and that someone else performed the act. Claiming to not be of right mind is another one that is used often. One of the most widely used defenses in criminal courts is that the sexual act was consensual, meaning the victim gave their consent.

Legal ramifications

Legal ramifications, or consequences, for sexual battery or rape can vary from state to state. Because sexual battery is considered a less serious offense, it carries a lighter sentence. The defendant may receive jail time of up to one year. He may not receive jail time but be put on probation, or he may receive a combination of the two.

For rape, a defendant will usually receive jail time for years. This depends on which state the crime is committed in. Besides the jail sentence for rape or sexual battery, the defendant may be required to undergo some type of therapeutic treatment either in or out of jail. They are also required to register in the state they reside in as a sexual offender. This means he has to list his name, address and information about the crime he committed and file it with the state registry. The public is able to come by and view at least some if not all of his information so they know where sexual offenders are in their area.


If you have been accused of sexual battery or rape, your future hangs in the balance, and you need an experienced criminal attorney on your side. Depending on the state you live in, you may spend many years in prison if you are convicted. Give us a call, and let us review your case because your life is worth it.

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