Sex Crimes: Definitions and Penalties
New York

Rape in the First Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person:
    • By forcible compulsion; or
    • Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
    • Who is less than eleven years old; or
    • Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 5 to 25 years in prison (indeterminate sentence).

Anything else I should know?

  • Forcible compulsion” means to compel by either:
  • use of physical force; or
    • a threat, express or implied, which places a person in fear of immediate death or physical injury to himself, herself or another person, or in fear that he, she or another person will immediately be kidnapped.
  • Physically helpless” means that a person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
  • Sexual intercourse” has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight.
  • Oral sexual conduct” means conduct between persons consisting of contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the anus, or the mouth and the vulva or vagina.
  • Anal sexual conduct” means conduct between persons consisting of contact between the penis and anus.
  • “Sexual conduct” means sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, aggravated sexual contact, or sexual contact.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.35





Rape in the Second Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • Being eighteen years old or more, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than fifteen years old; or
    • It shall be an affirmative defense to this crime if the defendant was less than four years older than the victim at the time of the act.
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 2 to 7 years in prison (indeterminate sentence).
  • The court may impose a definite sentence of imprisonment and fix a term at a year or less when the person, who is not a second or persistent felony offender, has been convicted of a class D or class E felony, and the court feels that an indeterminate or determinate sentence is unduly harsh.

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “sexual intercourse” under Rape – 1st Degree
  • Mentally disabled” means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders him or her incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
  • Mentally incapacitated” means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his conduct owing to the influence of a narcotic or intoxicating substance administered to him without his consent, or to any other act committed upon him without his consent.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.30





Rape in the Third Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old;
  • Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old; or
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 1.5 to 4 years in prison.
  • The court may impose a sentence of probation; if the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, is of the opinion that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary but that it would be unduly harsh to impose a determinate sentence, the court may impose a definite sentence of imprisonment and fix a term of one year or less.

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “sexual intercourse” under Rape – 1st Degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.25





Sexual Misconduct Answer

How is it defined?

  • Engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent; or
  • Engaging in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person's consent; or
  • Engaging in sexual conduct with an animal or a dead human body.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • Maximum of 1 year in prison.

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “sexual intercourse,” “oral sexual conduct” and “anal sexual conduct” under Rape – 1st Degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.20





Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  •  Engaging in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person:
    • By forcible compulsion; or
    • Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
    • Who is less than eleven years old; or
    • Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 5 to 25 years in prison (indeterminate sentence).

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “forcible compulsion,” “physically helpless,” oral sexual conduct” and “anal sexual under Rape – 1st Degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.50





Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • Being eighteen years old or more, he or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person less than fifteen years old; or
    • It shall be an affirmative defense to this crime if the defendant was less than four years older than the victim at the time of the act.
  • Engaging in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 2 to 7 years in prison.

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “oral sexual conduct” and “anal sexual conduct” under Rape – 1st Degree.
  • See definition of “mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated” under Rape – 2 nd Degree

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.45





Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • Engaging in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old;
  • Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person less than seventeen years old; or
  • He or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person's consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 1.5 to 4 years in prison.
  • The court may impose a sentence of probation; if the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, is of the opinion that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary but that it would be unduly harsh to impose a determinate sentence, the court may impose a definite sentence of imprisonment and fix a term of one year or less.

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “oral sexual conduct” and “anal sexual conduct” under Rape – 1st Degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.40





Forcible Touching - Misdemeanor Answer

How is it defined?

  • Intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touching the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire.
    • For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • Maximum of 1 year in prison.

Anything else I should know?

  • N/A

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law § 130.52





Predatory Sexual Assault Answer

How is it defined?

  • Committing the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, and when:
    • In the course of the commission of the crime or the immediate flight therefrom, he or she:
      • Causes serious physical injury to the victim of such crime; or
      • Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or
    • He or she has engaged in conduct constituting the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, against one or more additional persons; or
    • He or she has previously been subjected to a conviction for a felony defined in this article, incest as or use of a child in a sexual performance.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 10 to 25 years in prison (indeterminate sentence).

Anything else I should know?

  • N/A

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law §130.95





Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child Answer

How is it defined?

  • Committing the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, and the victim is less than 13 years old, when the person is eighteen years old or more.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 10 to 25 years in prison (indeterminate sentence).

Anything else I should know?

  • N/A

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law §130.96





Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • When, over a period of time not less than three months in duration, a person:
    • engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which includes at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than eleven years old; or
    • who is 18 years old or more, engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which include at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than thirteen years old.
  • A person may not be subsequently prosecuted for any other sexual offense involving the same victim unless the other charged offense occurred outside the time period charged under this section.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 5 to 25 years in prison (indeterminate sentence)

Anything else I should know?

  • See definition of “sexual intercourse,” “oral sexual conduct” and “anal sexual conduct” under Rape – 1st Degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law §130.75





Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree Answer

How is it defined?

  • When, over a period of time not less than three months in duration, a person:
    • engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 11 years old; or
    • who is eighteen years old or more, engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 13 years old.
  • A person may not be subsequently prosecuted for any other sexual offense involving the same victim unless the other charged offense occurred outside the time period charged under this section.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • 2 to 7 years in prison.

Anything else I should know?

  • N/A

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.Y. Penal Law §130.80








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