Aggravated sexual abuse is one of several felony sex crimes defined in New York law. The charge has four varieties ranging from first degree to fourth degree. First degree is the most serious, while fourth degree is the least serious. It’s important to note, though, that even fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse is still a felony.
Second degree aggravated sexual abuse is the second most serious offense. It’s a grave charge to have leveled against you. For this crime to have been committed, the defendant must have caused another person physical injury when forcibly inserting a finger into the anus, rectum, penis, urethra, or vagina. Second degree charges also apply in cases where the other person had been rendered physically helpless. In addition, you can be charged with second degree aggravated sexual abuse if the victim was under the age of 11.
This crime is a class C felony. Convictions carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. There are other consequences as well, ranging from probation to registry on the official sex offender list. If you’ve been arrested for second degree aggravated sexual abuse, you need to get in contact with a defense lawyer immediately. A defense attorney can review the case facts and explain your options. They will help you make the best decision going forward and provide the best defense possible.
The Definition of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree
There is a distinct legal difference between rape and aggravated sexual abuse under New York law. Rape involves sexual intercourse, but sexual abuse involves a foreign object.
To convict someone of second degree aggravated sexual abuse, there are certain elements the prosecutor must prove. They must prove that the defendant nonconsensually inserted their finger into the anus, rectum, penis, urethra, or vagina of another person. For a first degree charge, the inserted item would need to be a foreign object. New York penal law does not offer a specific definition of “foreign object,” but in cases in the past, pencils, sticks, and bottles have all been ruled “foreign objects.”
Proving Lack of Consent
The statute outlines three ways in which it’s possible to demonstrate a lack of consent.
The first is force. If physical force was exerted for the act to take place, then the other party did not consent. Physical force isn’t the only display of force that counts, though. If you verbally threatened the victim with harm, or you threatened them with a weapon, they did not consent. If you forcibly compelled the victim through threats to their family or themselves, they did not consent.
The second way is physical helplessness. If the act is committed while the other party is unconscious or otherwise physically helpless, you haven’t obtained consent. You don’t need to be the cause of the helplessness. For example, if someone at a party drinks too much and passes out, and you commit sexual acts on them, you have still committed a crime.
The third way is through the victim’s age. If the victim was less than 11 years old, you have committed aggravated sexual abuse. The circumstances don’t matter. Even if you didn’t use force, or they seemed to consent, they were legally too young to consent to sexual activity.
Second degree aggravated sexual abuse is a complex, serious crime. The exact legal circumstances vary widely from case to case. There are certain defenses that can be employed.
One defense is to prove the other party consented. This will not be possible with physically helpless victims or victims under the age of 11, as they are not able to consent.
Another defense is if the act was performed as a medical necessity. You will need to prove there was a medical emergency. If the situation was not an emergency, you are still guilty of violating another person without their consent.
The state statute of limitations can also protect people from prosecution if the crime was committed a certain period of time ago.