Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Top 40 Under 40
AV Preeminent
The National Trial Lawyers
Top Once Percent
Best DWI Attorney 2017
10 Best Law Firm

New York Penal Law § 130.35 – Rape in the First Degree

Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing Clients Facing Serious Sex Offenses in New York and the Surrounding Areas

Rape in the First Degree is one of the most serious New York sex crimes. New York rape statutes prohibit engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. First degree rape, however, arises when someone uses forcible compulsion to commit rape or when the victim is incapable of providing consent because they are physically helpless. It is also considered first degree rape if the victim is under 11 years old or the victim is under 13 years old, and the defendant is older than 18. Rape in the First Degree is a class B felony.

The Elements of Rape in the First Degree

Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Rape in the First Degree, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of rape are:

  • The defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with another person;
  • The other person did not consent to the sexual intercourse; and
  • One or more of the following applied
    1. The defendant used forcible compulsion;
    2. The victim was incapable of providing consent because they were physically helpless;
    3. The victim was under 11 years old; or
    4. The victim was under 13 years old, and the defendant was 18 or older.

In this context, “sexual intercourse” refers to any penetration of the penis into the vaginal opening. Additionally, “forcible compulsion” means to use physical force or to make threats that put another person in fear of death or physical injury or that they would be kidnapped.

Examples of Rape in the First Degree

Examples of Rape of the First Degree include the following:

  • Threatening someone with a weapon unless they agree to have sex;
  • Holding someone at knifepoint while having sex with them against their will;
  • An adult having sex with a child under 11;
  • An 18-year-old has sex with a 12-year-old girlfriend.

While other types of sexual conduct, such as oral sex and anal sex, are not included in the definition of Rape in the First degree, these acts are covered under related statutes. Additionally, the concept of consent is irrelevant when the alleged victim is a minor, as under New York law, a minor cannot legally provide consent to sexual intercourse.

Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 130.35

Often, prosecutors bring Rape in the First Degree charges along with one or more of the following:

  • Sexual Misconduct – NY Penal Law § 130.20
  • Rape in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.25
  • Rape in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.30
  • Forcible Touching – NY Penal Law § 130.52
  • Sexual Misconduct – NY Penal Law § 130.20
  • Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.55
  • Sexual Abuse in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.60
What Are the Defenses to Rape in the First Degree?

The defenses to Rape in the First Degree include:

  • The victim consented to engage in sexual intercourse (unless the victim’s age was an element of the crime);
  • Misidentification;
  • Fabrication; and
  • Illegally obtained evidence, such as a statement given to detectives.
What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 130.35?

Rape in the First Degree is a class B felony. In New York, class B felonies are punishable by up to 25 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, a conviction for Rape in the First Degree will require the defendant to register as a sex offender.

Discuss Your Pending Charges with an Experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with rape or another New York sex crime, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Tilem & Associates, P.C., we have decades of hands-on experience litigating some of the toughest and highest-stakes sex crimes in the state, and we know what it takes to provide you with the defense you need, deserve, and are legally entitled to. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

Client Reviews
"Thank you again for discussing my case with today. I can not stress enough how impressed I am with your services as an attorney. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty to attempt to help me. Thank you again and best wishes." Rob
"I am writing to send you my heartfelt thanks for your work on my father’s case. You are a wonderful attorney. I was very impressed by you from our first meeting. I am so grateful we were referred to you." Joanna
"I wanted to first say thank you for everything you have done for me in the last several months. You made this very difficult ordeal in my life less stressful and easier to bear. I am grateful for having you as my attorney and I truly feel that you helped me above my expectations. I appreciate everything." W.S.