Sex Crimes in New York City
In New York City, the police department places a premium on investigating and prosecuting sexually-based offenses. There is a special department exclusively for sex crimes known as the Special Victims Unit. While this unit does commendable work, there are situations where people have been arrested on false charges or with minimal evidence.
There are a number of crimes that are charged as sex crimes under New York law. They include the following offenses:
- Rape in the First Degree occurs when one person engages in sexual intercourse with another by forcible compulsion, when the person is unable to consent to sex because they are physically helpless, or when the person is a child (under 11 years old, or less than 13 and the alleged rapist is 18 or older).
- Rape in the Second Degree is when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is under 15 years old (and the alleged rapist is 18 or older) or with a person who cannot consent to a mental disability or incapacitation.
- Rape in the Third Degree happens when one person engages in sexual intercourse with a person who cannot consent sex, does not consent to sex, or is less than 17 and the alleged rapist is 21 or older.
- Course of Sexual Conduct Against A Child occurs when a person engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child (under 11 years old, or less than 13 and the alleged rapist is 18 or older).
- Forcible Touching is when one person forcibly touches intimate parts of another person for no legitimate purpose.
There are many other sex crimes under New York law, including child pornography, facilitating a sexual offense using a controlled substance and female genital mutilation. The punishment for each crime depends on what offense was charged and whether it is deemed a violent offense.
The penalties of being convicted of a sex crime are extreme. People convicted of sex crimes often face long, mandatory terms of imprisonment, followed by long periods of post-release supervision.
Further, the impact of a sex crime conviction continues long after the sentence is imposed. The Sex Offender Registration Act requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state of New York, often for life. Many registered sex offenders must identify themselves in an online database by name, address, and photograph. This database is accessible to anyone who has Internet access. Failure to properly register can result in additional criminal charges.
Upon completing a prison term, a sex offender who is legally determined to be “suffering from a mental abnormality involving such a strong predisposition to commit sex offenses, and such an inability to control behavior, that the person is likely to be a danger to others and to commit sex offenses if not confined to a secure treatment facility,” faces the possibility of lifetime civil confinement. This civil confinement is in addition to the prison sentence imposed by the Criminal Court.
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I’ve handled a number of sex crimes cases in my more than twenty years of practice, and have defended numerous clients who have been falsely accused of sexual assault or molestation. I understand how overwhelmed and frightened my clients are if they are facing sex crimes charges, as they are some of the carry some of the most significant legal and nonlegal consequences of any crime in our society. I’ll listen to your story, investigate your case, help you understand your options, and aggressively pursue the reduction or dismissal of the charges. I offer free consultations to all prospective clients, where I’ll evaluate your case and educate you on your rights.