Nassau County Sex with a Minor

In New York, as in other jurisdictions, it is a crime to have sex with a minor. Minors are not legally able to consent to sex. This means that in general, even if someone who is under the age of 17 appears to have consent to sex or even if such a minor initiates sex, you will have committed a sex crime if you engage in sexual activity with that minor. Furthermore, the sex crime offense becomes more serious as the age of the child decrease. Prohibited sexual activity does not only include sexual intercourse which is defined as sexual conduct where the penis penetrates the vagina. It includes any sexual conduct including anal or oral sex, as well as touching of intimate parts for sexual gratification. If you are convicted of having sex with a minor, you could end up in prison for several years. You will also end up with a criminal record, and you will be required to register as a sex offender. Because the possible severe consequences of being convicted of a crime related to having sex with a minor, if you are arrested of having sex with a minor, you or a family member should immediately contact an experienced Nassau Country Sex with a Minor Lawyer who will review the facts of your case help you develop a strong defense to fight the charges.

What are the crimes that are related to having sex with a minor?

There are 13 crimes in the sex crimes statute that related to having sex with a minor.

  • Rape in the third degree. Rape in the third degree is the least severe rape charge based on sex with a minor charge. You will be charged with rape in the third degree if you are at least 21 year old and have sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 17 years old. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.25
  • Rape in the second degree. You will face this charge if you are 18 or older and have sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 15 years old. For this charge you also must be four or more years older than other person. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.30.
  • Rape in the first degree. Rape in the first degree is the most serious rape charge. You will face this charge if you have sexual intercourse with a minor who is age 11 or younger, or if you are at least 18 years old and have sexual intercourse with a minor who is less than 13 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.35. It is a Class B felony.
  • Criminal sexual act in the third degree. You will face this charge if you have oral or anal sex with a minor who is younger than 17 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.40. It is Class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual act is the second degree. You will be charged with criminal sexual act in the second degree if you are at least 18 years old and the other person is a minor who is younger than 13 years old, or you are at least 4 years older than the victim. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.45. It is a Class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual act in the first degree. Criminal sexual act includes oral or anal sex with a minor who is younger than 11, or with a minor who is younger than 13 if you are at least 18 years old. It is a Class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.50. The possible sentence is up to 25 years in prison.
  • Sexual abuse in the third degree. Sexual abuse in the third degree involves have sexual contact with a minor who is 15 or 16 years old and you are at least 5 years older than that minor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.55. Sexual contact is defined as the touching of the intimate sexual parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification. Sexual abuse in the third degree a Class B misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 3 months in jail.
  • Sexual abuse in the second degree. You will face this charge if you have sexual contact with a minor who is less than 14 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.60. It is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 1 year in jail.
  • Sexual abuse in the first degree. You will face this charge if you have sexual contact with a minor who is less than 11 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.65. It is a Class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
  • Sexual misconduct. You would have committed sexual misconduct if you have oral sex, anal sex, or sexual intercourse with a minor who is less than 17 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.20. It is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 1 year in jail.
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree. You will face this charge if you engage in at least 2 instances of sexual conduct with a minor who is less than 11 years old in a period of at least 3 months. You will also face this charge if you are at least 18 years old and the minor is less than 13 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.80.
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree. This charge is similar to the charge of a course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, except the sexual conduct involves sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or aggravated sexual conduct. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.75. It is a Class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
  • Predatory sexual assault against a child. If you cause physical injury or use the threat of physical injury during the while committing 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 and you are at least 18 years old and the victim is under 13 years old, you will face the charge of predatory sexual assault against a child. It is a Class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.96. If convicted you face a maximum of life in prison.

Furthermore, if you are charged with having sex with a minor, there are other types of crimes that you may be charged with such as endangering the welfare of a child or luring a child.

What are the defenses to a sex with a minor charge?

The sexual assault statute provides 2 important defenses or exemptions to a sex crime charge based on having sex with a minor: Romeo and Juliet exemption and the marriage exemption.

Romeo and Juliet exemption. Most sex crime statutes are very specific about the age requirements for the charge to apply or not apply. The so-called Romeo and Julie rules exempt from certain sex crime charges an adult or older minor who has consensual sex with a younger minor. For example, an 18 year old will be charged with rape in the second degree if he or she has sex with a 14 year old, but will not face that charge if he or she has sex with a 15 year old. The Romeo and Juliet exemption does not apply to anyone who has sex with a minor who is under 11 years old regardless of the age difference.

Marriage exemption. In cases where you and the minor are legally married and the sexual assault charge is based on lack of consent due to age, then the marital exemption applies and you will have a valid defense against a charge of sexual assault. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.10.

Neither the Romeo and Juliet exemption of the marital exemption will protect you if lack of consent is based on the use of physical compulsion. Physical compulsion is defined as the use of physical force or the use of a threat of death, physical injury, or kidnapping. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(8)

What are the consequences of being convicted of a crime related to having sex with a minor?

If you are convicted of having sex with a minor the judge may sentence you the prison, probation, to pay a fine or a combination of any of these punishments. In addition, there are additional consequences such as being required to register as a sex offender and having permanent criminal record.

Prison. Whether or not the judges sentences you to prison and for how long depends on a number of factors, most importantly of which is the classification of the crime. If crime is a misdemeanor such as sexual misconduct, the maximum sentence would be a year in jail. However, if the crime is a felony, you could be sentenced to up to 4 years for a class E felony or up to life if convicted of predatory sexual assault against a child.

Probation. All or part of your sentence may include probation. Particularly if you are convicted of a misdemeanor and you have no prior criminal convictions, there is a good chance that the judge will sentence you to probation instead of sending you to jail or prison. While you are on probation, there will be several rules that you must follow or risk being sent back to prison. For example, rules that you must follow may include that you must not commit additional crimes, you must have a job, you must support your family, you must not associate with other felons, you must not drink alcohol excessively, you must not use controlled substances, you must not leave the jurisdiction without permission, and that you must report to your probation officer regularly. If you break any of the rules, you will have to appear before a judge who will decided whether or not you violated the terms of your probation such that you should be sent back to prison.

Fines, Fees and Restitution. There are several financial consequences to committing a sex crime. The judge may order you to pay a fine of up to $500 for a Class B misdemeanor, up to $1,000 for a Class A misdemeanor conviction or up to $5,000 for a felony conviction.

You will also be required to pay certain fees including a "mandatory surcharge" of $300 for felonies and $175 for misdemeanors as well as a victim assistance fee of $25. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.35. You may also be required to pay fees related to probation and post-release supervision of $30 per month as well as fees associated with sex offender registration.

Another financial consequence is that you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. Generally, the maximum amount of restitution is $15,000 for felonies and $10,000 for misdemeanors. However, the restitution may be considerably more as medical expenses for knife wounds can be significant and the court may require you to pay those expenses.

If you do not pay a fine, fee or restitution, you may be charged with an additional crime. However, the court may lower the amount of restitution or modify payment terms if you show the court an inability to pay.

Sex Offender Registration. If you are convicted of statutory rape or any sex crime based on having sex with a minor, your sentence will include the requirement that you register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). This means that you will have to provide detailed information about yourself to a designated law enforcement agency that will be added to a special database. The information that you will be required to provide includes your name, home address, the crime of which you were convicted, your sentence, your email addresses, your online screen names, and your photograph. You will be required to verify such information on a regular basis. If your address changes or if you get a new email address or screen name, you are required to let law enforcement know within 10 days.

In some cases, your sex offender registration information will be available to the public. This means that anyone could go online and find out that you are a sex offender and also find out other details about you. Under the SORA you will have to register for either 20 years or for the rest of your life.

If you are facing sex crime charge based on allegations that you had sex with a minor, you should take the charge seriously and immediately consult an experienced Nassau County Sex with a Minor Lawyer. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York criminal courts who were accused of statutory rape, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child as well as other crimes. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

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