Queens Child Sexual Assault

In New York it is against the law to have sex with a minor. A minor is defined as a person who is less than 17 years old. Under New York Penal Law the crime of sexual assault involves having sex without the consent of the other person. The law provides that with a just a few exceptions, minors lack the ability to consent to sex. Thus, if you have sex with a someone who is less than 17 years old, you could face a child sexual assault charge. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.05(3). Child sexual assault is commonly referred to as "statutory rape." Furthermore, if you are charged with sexually assaulting a child, you may also be charged with other crimes related to child endangerment. The younger the child, the more serious the charges you will face. If you are convicted of sexually assaulting a minor you will likely be sentenced to multiple years in prison. You will also have a criminal record and be labeled a sex offender. Because of the seriousness of being charged with sexually assaulting a minor, if you are accused of having sex with a minor, you should immediately contact an experienced Queens Child Sexual Assault Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and who will vigorously defend you against the charges.

Types of Child Sexual Assault

There are several sexual assault crimes related to having sex with a child.

  • Rape in the third degree. The prosecutor will charge you with 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

  • Rape in the second degree. You will be charged with rape in the second degree if you are 18 or older and have sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 15 years old. For this charge you also must be at least 4 year older than the child. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.30.

  • Rape in the first degree. Rape in the first degree is one of the most serious types of sexual assault against a child. You will be charged with this crime 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. This type of sexual assault involves having oral or anal sex with a minor who is younger than 17 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.40. It is a Class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison.

  • Criminal sexual act is the second degree. Criminal sexual act in the second degree is the child sexual assault charge that you will face if you are at least 18 years old and the minor is less than 13 years old, or you are at least 4 years older than the minor. 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. The criminal sexual act charge that you face will be raised to criminal sexual act in the first degree if you commit the act with a child who is younger than 11, or with a child 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 having sexual contact with a minor who is 15 or 16 years old and you are at least 5 years older than that person. It is a Class B misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 3 months in jail. 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 second degree. The prosecutor will charge you with sexual abuse in the second degree if you have sexual contact with a child 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 be charged with sexual abuse in the first degree if you have sexual contact with a child 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 will be charged with sexual misconduct against a child if you have oral sex, anal sex, or sexual intercourse with a child 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. This offense is meant for people who repeatedly sexually assault a child victim. You will face this charge if you subject a child to sexual conduct at least 2 times in a period of at least 3 months where the child is under 11 years old. You will also face this charge if you are at least 18 years old and the child is less than 13 years old. It is a Class D felony with a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison. 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 course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, except for first degree the sexual assault of the child 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 maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

  • Predatory sexual assault against a child. If while sexually assaulting a child you also cause physical injury or use the threat of physical injury, and you are at least 18 years old and the child is less than 13 years old, you will face the very serious 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 minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years.

Defenses to a Child Sexual Assault Charge

If you are charged with child sexual assault, depending on the facts of your case there may be several different defenses which may result in the charges being dropped or in you being acquitted of the charges.

Romeo and Juliet exception. New York sexual assault statutes are very specific about the age requirements for a child sexual assault charge to apply or not apply. The so-called Romeo and Julie rules provide an exception from certain sexual assault charges where the sex would otherwise be consensual but for the fact that a minor was involved. The exception only applies where the two parties involved are close in age. 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 child, but will not face such charges if he or she has sex with a 15 year old child due to the Romeo and Juliet exception written into the statute. However, the Romeo and Juliet exception does not apply to anyone who has sex with a child who is under 11 years old regardless of the age difference. In other words, even under the Romeo and Juliet exception it is not legally acceptable to have sex with a child who less than 11 years old.

Marital exception. 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 under the law you cannot be prosecuted as marriage is a valid defense against a charge of child sexual assault. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.10.

It is important to keep in mind that both the Romeo and Juliet exception and the marital exception are only valid defenses in cases where the charge is based on age. If the charge is based on lack of consent due to physical force, then neither of these defenses will apply.

Sex Offender Registration

If you are convicted of child sexual assault your sentence will include probation, jail, prison or a combination of these penalties. However, there is an additional consequence of being convicted of child sexual assault. You will labeled a sex offender and will be required to follow the rules related to sex offender registration as defined in the Sex Offender Registration Act. Upon conviction you will be required to complete a form giving law enforcement detailed information about you, including your name, aliases, home address, crime you committed, your sentence, photograph of you, email address, and internet screen names. You will have to update your photograph regularly and verify your home address and other personal information regularly. If you move, get a new email address, or change any registrable information, you must let law enforcement know. If you present a high risk to the public your information will be included in a special directory that is available to the public. The goal is to protect the public by releasing your name, the crimes you committed, the type of victim involved, where you live and your photograph. You will be a registered sex offender for at least 20 years, and maybe for life.

If you are facing a child sexual assault or statutory rape charge, you should immediately consult an experienced Queens Child Sexual Assault 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, child sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, failure to register as a sex offender 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:

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)