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New York Penal Code § 130.65-a: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree

New York Penal Code § 130.65-a: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree

Multiple different sex crimes have been codified into New York law. In New York, fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse is defined as the insertion of a foreign object into the anus, rectum, penis, urethra, or vagina of another person. The person must have been incapable of giving their consent.

There is another potential basis for the crime as well. If a person isn’t capable of consenting, and another person inserts a finger into their anus, rectum, penis, urethra, or vagina, and physical injury is caused, fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse may apply.

New York’s statutes don’t give a specific definition of “foreign objects.” With that said, there have been a number of court cases that have ruled that certain things count as foreign objects. These include knives, sticks, and bottles.

Example

A woman may be intoxicated at a party or some other area. A man then shoves a bottle into her rectum. Because of the man’s action, the tissue separating the woman’s vagina and rectum severely tore. The man could then be charged with aggravated sexual abuse due to the woman’s inability to consent to the sex act. Drunk people cannot legally consent to sex.

Related Crimes

A number of crimes are related to this. A person may be charged with multiple crimes regarding the same action. The most closely related crimes are:

  • Third degree rape
  • Third degree criminal sexual acts
  • Persistent sexual abuse

Defenses

A variety of defenses are possible for a fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse charge.

One of the most important elements of the crime is that the victim could not give their consent. If you provide proof that the person wasn’t helpless, underage, or mentally disabled, then the prosecution will have a difficult time with a conviction. You’ll also need to prove that compulsion wasn’t a factor.

Another key component of the charge is injury. For fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse to have occurred, the victim must have suffered some kind of physical injury. If a man stuck a finger into a woman’s vagina, but no physical injury occurred, there wouldn’t be support for the fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse charge.

The statute of limitations is another valid defense. If it’s been a certain period of time since the incident occurred, the perpetrator can no longer be prosecuted.

Medical necessity is a potential defense. To use this defense, you will need to prove that there was a medical reason for the action, and that it was an absolute necessity.

Sentencing

When a person is convicted of this crime, a judge can hand down a maximum prison sentence of 4 years. The New York statutes do not have a mandatory minimum sentence for this crime.

For first offenders, judges will often use significantly lighter sentences. It’s rare for a first offender to serve a full 4 years in prison. They may avoid prison time altogether by being put on a 10 year probation plan instead.

If the person has committed a felony previously, though, there is a mandatory minimum sentence. They will need to spend at least three years in prison.

No matter the specific terms of the sentence, a conviction also means the offender must register as a sex offender for at least 20 years.

Contacting an Attorney

If you’ve been accused of any crime, it’s important to contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible. This is especially important with regards to sex crimes. Your attorney can review your case and explain your options. They may be able to argue valid defenses that you’d have difficulty arguing yourself.

Your attorney’s job is to help you navigate the justice system. They will make sure your rights are respected and that you make a fully informed decision about how to proceed. They’ll also handle the paperwork and other legal matters.

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