Sex crimes are always particularly vicious regardless of the area in which they are perpetrated. One of the crimes involves sexual abuse in the second degree, which is recognized in the New York Penal Code section 130.60. However, unlike other sex crimes, this crime is charged as a class A misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree as Per the New York Penal Code 130.60
A person can face the charge of sexual abuse in the second degree per New York’s Penal Code 130.60 if they have sexual contact with another person without their consent. The crime can also be committed if a person engages in sexual contact with a person who is younger than the age of 17 or with a child who is under 14 years old.
It is important to note that sexual contact is not the same as sexual intercourse or oral or anal sex. According to the New York Penal Code section 130.00(3), sexual contact is defined as touching another person’s sexual or intimate parts for the purpose of sexual gratification. Those parts include the vagina, penis, genital area in general, anus or rectum, breasts, buttocks, lips and mouth.
For example, if a man is playing with his young niece who is only 10 and suddenly places his hand up her skirt to fondle her genitals, it would be considered sexual abuse in the second degree. If the situation involved a parent, aunt or uncle or another family member wiping a baby’s genital area and buttocks after changing the infant’s diaper, that would not be considered committing this crime as there would be a legitimate reason for coming into contact with that area of the baby’s body. The prosecutor in the former example, however, could easily prove that there was no other reason than sexual gratification why the uncle was touching his niece in her genital area.
Other Offenses Related to Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree in New York
There are two offenses that are related to sexual abuse in the second degree. They include forcible touching as per the New York Penal Code section 130.52 and endangering the welfare of a child as per New York Penal Code section 260.10.
Possible Defenses for Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree in New York
Sex crimes are always deemed as very serious and can carry equally serious consequences. That is precisely why anyone who is accused and charged with such a crime, whether sexual abuse in the second degree or anything else, should hire an experienced New York sex crimes attorney. There are certain defenses the attorney can devise for building a strong case against the charges of sexual abuse in the second degree. Generally speaking, the strongest defense in any sex crime is consent. If the defense can show that the victim consented to the sexual contact, it will make it difficult for the prosecution to continue on with the case. However, it’s important to note that a person facing a charge of sexual abuse in the second degree that involves a child younger than 14 would not have a valid defense in claiming that the act was consensual as children cannot legally consent to sex or sexual contact with adults.
Sentence for Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree in New York
The crime of sexual abuse in the second degree is charged as a class A misdemeanor. That means a person convicted of this offense can face a possible maximum of one year in jail. In addition, the individual can also expect to receive probation lasting six years. When the judge hands down the person’s sentence, they will consider certain factors, such as the specific crime that was committed, the individual’s personal background and whether they have a prior criminal history. Generally, if it is a first offense, the sentence will be less harsh than that of a person who has a prior criminal record.
In addition to these penalties, the individual would also be required to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). There are certain rules a person would have to follow per this act for at least 20 years and possibly for the rest of their life.