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New York Penal Law § 130.65 - Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

Respected NY Criminal Defense Lawyers Standing Up for the Rights of Individuals Charged with Serious Sex Crimes

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is one of several New York sex crimes prohibiting individuals from subjecting others to sexual contact through forcible compulsion. Section 130.65 also applies to situations in which an alleged victim is incapable of providing consent due to their age or incapacity. Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a class D felony.

The Elements of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Under § 130.65, there are four ways someone can be convicted of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree:

  1. Subjecting another to sexual contact by forcible compulsion;
  2. Subjecting another to sexual contact when they cannot provide consent because they are physically helpless;
  3. Subjecting a child under 11 years to sexual contact; and
  4. Subjecting a child under 13 years to sexual contact where the defendant is 21 or older.

In this context, sexual contact refers to touching another’s sexual organs or intimate body parts for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Examples of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a sex crime that applies to sexual conduct that doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of sexual intercourse or penetration. Examples of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree include grabbing the breasts, buttocks, or sexual organs of another person by force or if they were physically unable to provide consent, such as if they were asleep or intoxicated.

The law applies to situations where the defendant is alleged to have touched the victim as well as those where the defendant causes the victim to touch the genitals or intimate areas of the defendant. For example, a defendant who grabs another’s hand and places it on their penis may face charges of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.

Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 130.65

Often, prosecutors bring Sexual Abuse 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
  • Rape in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.35
  • Forcible Touching – NY Penal Law § 130.52
  • Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.55
What Are the Defenses to Sexual Abuse in the First Degree?

The defenses to Sexual Abuse in the First Degree include:

  • Consent (if the alleged victim is over 13);
  • The contact was not for the purposes of sexual gratification; and
  • Fabrication.

Depending on the situation, misidentification could be a defense, as could law enforcement officers’ violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights when taking a statement.

What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 130.65?

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a class D felony. In New York, class D felonies are punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

Speak with an Experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney About Sexual Abuse in the First Degree Charges Today

If you are facing sex abuse charges, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced New York sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. These cases are challenging—and present very high states—and the earlier you bring a lawyer onto your team, the quicker they can start working on a compelling defense. At the law firm of Tilem & Associates, P.C., we have more than 25 years of experience aggressively defending the rights of good people charged with very serious crimes, regardless of the nature of the charges they face. 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.

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