Sex crimes are among the most serious in New York and the United States as a whole. One of those crimes is sexual abuse in the third degree. It is one of three sexual abuse crimes as per the law in the state of New York but is also considered the least serious in the category.
Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree as Per New York Penal Code 130.55
A person can face a charge of sexual abuse in the third degree in New York per the Penal Code section 130.55 if they have sexual contact with another person without their consent. The crime is charged as a class B misdemeanor instead of a felony but is still considered a sex crime.
For a person to be charged with the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree, they must have subjected someone else to sexual contact. This means some other type of contact besides sexual intercourse. It also differs from a criminal sexual act as sexual abuse in the third degree doesn’t require a certain type of oral or anal sex act. However, it requires the touching of sexual or intimate parts of a person for one’s own sexual gratification. At the same time, people who have been convicted of this crime may have touched another person’s private areas, such as their vagina, penis, rectum or anus, buttocks, breasts, lips or mouth. In addition, ejaculating on another person is also a form of sexual contact.
For example, if a man on a crowded train in the subway rubbed against a woman and then ejaculated on the back of her pants or skirt, it would be considered sexual abuse in the third degree. The individual could be charged and convicted of the crime because he rubbed against the woman’s buttocks, an intimate part of her, and ejaculated on her as well. Another charge he could receive is forcible touching as per the New York Penal Code section 130.52.
Possible Defenses for Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree in New York
There are certain defenses that an attorney can use to help a person’s case against the charge of sexual abuse in the third degree. One way to do that is to show that the sexual contact in question was either accidental or consensual. However, there are still other possible defenses that may be valid based on the particular facts of the case.
Sentence for Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree in New York
In New York, sexual abuse in the third degree is considered a class B misdemeanor. As a result, a person who is convicted of the crime can face a maximum jail sentence of three months. However, that sentence may also include a term of probation lasting up to six years.
Although the crime is only considered a class B misdemeanor, a person who is convicted of sexual abuse in the third degree is required to register as a sex offender as per the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). Once a person is registered, they are also required to keep law enforcement apprised of any changes so that their information is kept up-to-date in the database. Additionally, a hearing will be scheduled to determine the individual’s risk level as a sex offender from level 1 through 3. A person determined to be a level 1 sex offender must register for 20 years. If the individual does not attend the hearing, they would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
Summary of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree as Per Penal Code Section 130.55
A person can be found guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree when they have sexual contact with another person without their consent. The only exceptions to that rule are when the defendant lacks the capacity to consent themselves due to being under the age of 17, the other person is over 14 or the defendant is less than five years older than the other individual