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New York State Sexual Assault

The New York Penal Code Section 130 defines sexual assault, its different variations, as a wide range of actions that subject a person to any sexual contact without consent. In court, there can be different laws and punishments that apply to each degree of sexual assault. Additionally, the code defines whether a person legally consents or not.

The three different degrees for sexual assault cases are the following:

 

  • First Degree Rape
    • Defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person if one or more of the following are true:
      • The act was done through forcible compulsion, be it by physical force or threats of danger
      • The victim is incapable of consent due to being physically helpless
      • The victim is less than eleven years’ old
      • The victim is less than thirteen years old and the actor is at least eighteen years’ old
    • Sexual Assault cases that are defined as first degree rape are subject to 5 to 25 years in prison for the criminal.
  • Second Degree Rape
    • Defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person if one or more of the following are true:
      • The offender is eighteen years old or more and engages in intercourse with a person who is less than fifteen years’ old
      • The defendant could be free of punishment, however, if it is proven that he or she was less than four years older than the victim at the time of the act.
      • The victim is incapable of consent due to being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated
      • Sexual Assault cases that are defined as second degree rape are subject to 2 to 7 years in prison for the criminal.
  • Third Degree Rape
  • Defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person if one or more of the following are true:
    • The sexual assault victim is incapable of giving consent due to a reason other than being less than 17 years’ old
    • The offender is 21 years’ old or more, engaging in intercourse with a person who is less than 17 years’ old
    • The victim did not give consent due to a reason other than incapacity to consent.

Definition of Consent – Under New York State Law, the lack of consent in a sexual assault case can result from the following (New York Penal Law §130.05.):

  • (1) forcible compulsion;
  • (2) incapacity to consent;
  • (3) where the offense charged is sexual abuse or forcible touching, any circumstances, in addition to forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent, in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor’s conduct; or
  • (4) where the offense charged is rape in the 3rd degree or criminal sexual act in the 3rd degree, in addition to forcible compulsion, circumstances under which, at the time of the sexual act, the victim clearly expressed that he or she did not consent to engage in such act, and a reasonable person in the actor’s situation would have understood such person’s words and acts as an expression of lack of consent to such act under all the circumstances.