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NY Penal Law § 130.52: Forcible Touching

New York Penal Code § 130.52 describes forcible touching as intentionally touching the sexual or intimate parts of someone else for no reason or in order to receive sexual gratification. Touching can mean squeezing, grabbing, or pinching. While it is serious, it is not a felony like most other sex crime. It is a class A misdemeanor. While forcible touching sometimes occurs in public areas such as on a crowded subway platform or at a nightclub, it also occurs in private residences.


While standing in a crowded subway car a man places his fingers on a woman's vagina through her clothing. This man could be prosecuted for forcible touching as he did not have consent to touch the woman.

In another example the 25 year old uncle of a 14 year old girl uses his penis to touch the girl's vaginal area through her pants. A prosecutor could charge the uncle with forcible touching as a 14 year old is too young to consent to sexual contact.

Related offenses
  1. Sexual misconduct: New York Penal Code § 130.20
  2. Sexual abuse in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 130.60

As with any sex crime there may be defenses that could help your case. If, for example, you can show that the touching was accidental, then you have a valid defense. Or, if you can show that the person you touched consented to the touching, then you have a valid defense. These are just two possible defenses. Depending on the specific facts of your case, there may be other defenses such as mistaken identity or statute of limitations.


Because forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor the maximum possible sentence is up to one year in jail. If you are a first time offender it is possible that your sentence will not include any jail time, but just probation. If you are sentenced to probation, since forcible touching is both a misdemeanor and a sex crime, the probation term will be 6 years.

In addition, if you are convicted of forcible touching and the victim was under the age of 18 years old, you will be placed on the sex offender registry as required by New York correction law § 168, known as the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). This means that you will have to register with law enforcement your name, address and other personal information. You will have to comply with the sex offender registration and verification for at least 20 years and possible for the rest of your life.

New York Penal Code § 130.52: Forcible touching

A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches 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.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While a charge of forcible touching may not seem serious since it is a misdemeanor, a charge of forcible touching may lead to additional charges. In addition, a conviction of forcible touching may lead to you being labeled a registered sex offender. For this reason it is important to immediately contact experienced representation as soon as you are accused of forcible touching, persistent sexual abuse or any sex crime. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with sex crimes such as aggravated sexual abuse, criminal sexual act in the first degree as well as other sex crimes such as sexual misconduct, criminal sexual act, forcible touching, sexual abuse, sexual conduct against child, female genital mutilation, and facilitating a sexual offense with a controlled substance. Contact us at 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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