New York Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree

Under the New York Penal Code you would have committed course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree if within a period of 3 months you do any one of the following:

  • Engage in at least 2 acts of sexual conduct with a person who is less than 11 years, or
  • You are at least 18 years old and you engage in at least 2 acts of sexual conduct with a person who is less than 13 years old.

This sex crime is a felony. If you are convicted you could be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.80. Whether you are sentenced to prison or receive probation your punishment will include you having a criminal record and being labeled a registered sex offender. As soon as you have been arrested you should contact an experienced New York sex crime lawyer who understands New York criminal law related to sex crimes and who will aggressively defend you against 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 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

Offense defined

The crime of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is similar to course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree. Both crimes involve engaging in at least 2 acts of sexual conduct with a child in the space of 3 months. However, for a charge of sexual conduct against a child in the second first degree at least one of the acts of sex acts must be sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or aggravated sexual conduct. On the other hand for a charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, the acts of sexual conduct can be any type of sexual contact as long as there are 2 within a 3 month period. For example, if you touch a child's buttocks on one occasion, and then within 3 months touch the same child's vagina, you can be charged with course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree. However, if there is only 1 act of sexual conduct against a child, you could be charge with a different crime such as forcible touching, rape, criminal sexual act, or sexual abuse.

Sexual conduct

Sexual conduct includes sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, aggravated sexual conduct, or sexual contact. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(10). Sexual intercourse involves a penis penetrating a vagina. While penetration must occur, the amount of penetration can be slight. Oral sex refers to contact between the mouth and the penis, anus, vulva or vagina. Anal sex refers to contact between the penis and the anus. Sexual contact means touching the sexual or intimate parts of another person for sexual gratification with or without clothes on. It also includes ejaculation on someone else whether that person is clothed or unclothed.

Lack of consent

As with any sex crime, lack of consent is an important element to a charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree. If the other person consented to the sexual conduct then there is no sex crime. However, children do not have the capacity to consent to sexual contact. Thus, consent cannot be a defense to a charge of course of sexual conduct against a child if the child is under 11 years old or if you the child is under 13 years old and you are at least 18 years old.

Arrest and arraignment

If you are arrested for course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, you will be taken into custody immediately. You will be locked up in Central Booking where you will remain for several hours until your arraignment. Because course of sexual conduct against a child is such a serious charge, receiving a Desk Appearance Ticket is not an option. The arraignment is a hearing where you will be formally charged. You may be charged with just course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, or you may learn that the prosecutor has added additional charges. The additional charges could be other sex crimes. However, the prosecutor cannot charge you with course of sexual conduct against a child, and also charge you with additional sex crimes based on sexual contact that occurred in the same 3 month period. The prosecutor can charge you with sex crimes for sexual contact that occurred outside that 3 month period.

At your arraignment the judge will let you know how much your bail is, if you will be released on your own recognizance, or if you will be held without bail. This determination will based on how much of a flight risk you are determined to be. You will then learn when you must next appear in court. It is vital for you to be present at each court date. If you miss a court date, then the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Prior to your trial, the prosecutor may offer you a plea deal that may require you to plead guilty to a lesser offense. If you do not accept a plea deal, then your case will proceed to trial.

Defenses

A defense to a charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree is that the reported acts of sexual conduct did not occur within a 3-month period, or that there were not 2 acts. If you can show proof of this, then the prosecutor may reduce the charge against you to a lesser felony that might result in a less severe sentence.

Another possible defense is that you are married to the purported victim. While it is unusual for someone who is 13 years old or younger to be married, it is not unheard of. Thus if you and the child are married and the marriage is considered valid in the State of New York, you have a defense to a charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree.

The statute of limitations may provide another defense to a charge of course of conduct against a child in the second degree. Under New York law most felony charges must be brought within 5 years of when the crime was supposed to have been committed. If you are not prosecuted within five years the prosecutor is time-barred from prosecuting you at all for that crime. An exception to this rule is where the victim was less than 18 years old at the time of the incident. The prosecutor may have more time to prosecute you as the limitations period does not begin to run until the victim turns 18 years old or until the incident is reported to law enforcement.

Sentencing

Prison. The sentence for being convicted of course of conduct against a child in the second degree is up to 7 years in prison as it is a Class D felony. There are additional factors that the court will consider in determining your sentence. If this conviction is your second felony conviction, the minimum sentence that you will be required is 4 years with a maximum of 7 years. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.06. If you are convicted of other crimes in addition to course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree your sentence will be more severe than if you are convicted of just one crime. If you are a first time offender, the judge will not be required to sentence to you to a minimum time in prison. In fact, the judge may sentence you to much less time than 7 years and may even sentence you to probation. If you are sentenced to probation it will be for 10 years.

Probation. While probation is a more desirable sentence than incarceration, you could find yourself locked up in prison if you do not follow the probation rules. The rules may include: you must not commit a crime, you must have a job, you must support your family, you may be required to submit to random drug testing, you must refrain from associating with disreputable people, you must refrain from patronizing disreputable places, you must refrain from possessing firearms, you cannot leave New York State without permission, you will be subject to a curfew, and you must regularly check in with your probation officer. If you break any condition of your probation, your probation officer will violate you. You will then have to return to court and appear before the judge who sentenced you. It the judge agrees that you did violate the terms of your probation, the judge will send you to jail or modify the terms of your probation.

Sex offender registration. Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree like most other sex crimes is a registrable offense. This means that if convicted you will be a registered sex offender. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168. Based on your background, the court will determine the likelihood of you re-offending and designate you as a Level 1, 2 or 3 sex offender. Level 1 offenders present a low risk of re-offending; level 2 offenders present a medium risk of re-offending; and level 3 offenders present a high risk of re-offending. Level 1 offenders will remain on the registry for at least 20 years. Level 2 and 3 offenders will remain on the registry for life. Level 2 and 3 offenders' names are listed in the public sex offender directory so that anyone can go online and find that you are a registered sex offender. All registered sex offenders must verify their addresses with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) each year, and must inform the DCJS of a new addresses within 10 days of moving. If you move out of state, you must register as a sex offender under the rules of your new jurisdiction.

Request a free confidential consultation

The consequences of being charged with course of sexual conduct against a child are significant, affecting your future and the futures of your family members. For this reason it is important to immediately contact experienced representation as soon as you are accused of any sex crime. The staff at Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of sex crimes such as course of sexual conduct against a child, sexual misconduct, criminal sexual act, forcible touching, sexual abuse, sexual conduct against child, and facilitating a sexual offense with a controlled substance. 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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