New York Child Molestation

Sex crimes against a child are considered some of the most vicious and serious types of crimes. Child molestation is not a specific crime defined in the New York Penal Code but refers to several types of sex crimes in which children are the victims such as: sexual assault, statutory rape, forcible touching, public lewdness, and sexual abuse. Under the New York Penal Code you will have committed a sex crime if you engage in a sex act with another person without that person's consent. A child, defined as a person under the age of 17, does not have the legal ability to consent to sex. Thus, if you engage in a sex act with a child, even if the child appears to have consented you will have committed child molestation and could face serious criminal charges. If convicted not only will you face the possibility of spending several years in prison you will end up with a criminal record and you will be required to register as a sex offender. However, there are also many defenses to a charge of child molestation. Therefore, if you have been charged with engaging in a sex act with a child you should immediately contact an experienced New York sex crimes lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work closely with you to develop a strong defense to fight the charges. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with sex crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and kidnapping. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us at to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

Types of child molestation

There are several sex crimes related to child molestation.

  • Public lewdness
    • Performing a lewd or licentious act such as masturbation, usually with exposed private parts, in the presence of a child.
    • It is class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.00. The possible sentence is up to 3 months in jail.
  • Forcible touching
    • Touching a child's intimate parts either to degrade or abuse the child, or for sexual gratification.
    • It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law §130.52. The possible sentence is up to 1 year in jail.
  • Rape in the third degree
    • If you are at least 21-years-old and have sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 17 years old.
    • It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.25. The possible sentence is up to 4 years in prison.
  • Rape in the second degree
    • If you are at least 18-years-old and have sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 15-years-old. For this charge you also must be four or more years older than the child.
    • It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.30. The possible sentence is up to 7 years in prison.
  • Rape in the first degree
    • Having sexual intercourse with a child who is age 11 or younger
    • If you are at least 18 years old and have sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 13 years old.
    • It is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.35. The possible sentence is up to 25 years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual act in the third degree
    • Having oral or anal sex with a child who is younger than 17-years-old.
    • It is class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.40. The possible sentence is up to 4 years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual act is the second degree
    • If you are at least 18 years old and have oral or anal sex with a child who is less than 13 years old, or you are at least 4 years older than the victim.
    • It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.45. The possible sentence is up to 7 years in prison.
  • Criminal sexual act in the first degree
    • Having oral or anal sex with a child who is younger than 11 years old.
    • If you are at least 18 years old and have oral or anal sex with a child who is younger than 13 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
    • Having sexual contact with a child who is 15 or 16-years-old and you are at least 5 years older than that child.
    • It is a class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.55. The possible sentence is up to 3 months in jail.
    • Sexual contact is defined as touching the intimate sexual parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Sexual abuse in the second degree
    • If you have sexual contact with a child who is less than 14 years old.
    • It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.60. The possible sentence is up to 1 year in jail.
  • Sexual abuse in the first degree
    • If you have sexual contact with a child who is less than 11 years old.
    • It is class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.65. The possible sentence is up to 7 years in prison.
  • Sexual misconduct
    • Having oral sex, anal sex, or sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 17 years old.
    • It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.20. The possible sentence is up to 1 year in jail.
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree
    • If over a period of at least 3 months you engage in at least 2 instances of sexual conduct with a child who is less than 11 years old.
    • If you are at least 18 years old and over a period of at least 3 months you engage in at least 2 instances of sexual conduct with a child who is less than 13 years old.
    • It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.80. The possible sentence is up to 7 years in prison.
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree
    • If over a period of at least 3 months you engage in at least 2 instances of sexual conduct with a child who is less than 11 years old. The sexual conduct must involve sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or aggravated sexual conduct.
    • If you are at least 18 years old and over a period of at least 3 months you engage in at least 2 instances of sexual conduct with a minor who is less than 13 years old. The sexual conduct must involve sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or aggravated sexual conduct.
    • It is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.75. The possible sentence is up to 25 years in prison.
  • Predatory sexual assault against a child
    • If you cause physical injury or use the threat of physical injury 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.
    • It is a class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.96. The possible sentence is a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years.
Defenses

There are two statutory defenses that apply to most child molestation charges: the Romeo and Juliet defense and the marriage defense.

Romeo and Juliet defense . Most sex crime statutes specifically carve out exceptions to the applicability of the statute where the people involved in the sex act are close in age and the sex is otherwise consensual. This so-called Romeo and Juliet exception is meant to protect people who are close in age from being charged with certain sex crimes, even though at least one of the people involved is a child.

Marriage defense. In cases where you and the child are legally married and the child molestation charge is based on lack of consent due to age, the marriage defense would apply as a valid defense against a charge of child molestation. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.10

Neither the Romeo and Juliet defense or the marriage defense will protect you if lack of consent is based on the use of physical force.

Sex offender registration

If you are convicted of most child molestation charges, you will have to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). SORA requires offenders who are convicted of registrable offenses to register with a designated law enforcement agency details such as name, home address, photograph and online indentifying information such as email address and screen names. This information will be added to a special database. You will have to regularly verify and update this information. In some cases your sex offender registration information will be available to the public. Under SORA you will have to register for either 20 years or for the rest of your life.

Schedule a consultation

Since the mere accusation of child molestation could damage your personal and professional reputations, if you are facing a sex crime charge based on accusations of that you molested a child you should immediately consult an experienced New York child molestation lawyer. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York criminal courts who were accused of child molestation, statutory rape, child sexual assault, sex with a minor, public lewdness, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of a child as well as other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens , Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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