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NY Penal Law § 130.65: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

Sexual abuse is a type of sex crime that involves subjecting another person to sexual contact without that person's consent. Unlike sexual intercourse sexual contact does not require penetration. It is defined as touching of the sexual or intimate parts of another person for sexual gratification. Sexual or intimate parts include the genital area, vagina, penis, anus, rectum, buttocks, breasts, lips and mouth. Under New York Penal Code section 130.65 there are four grounds for a sexual abuse in the first degree charge.

  1. If you are at least 21 years old and the victim is under 13 years old
  2. If you are any age and the victim is less than 11 years old
  3. If you use force
  4. If the victim is physically helpless

A man kissed several of the intimate parts of his 8 year old niece while she was visiting her grandparents. In another case, a man touched a child's vaginal area through her pants. In a third case a man rubbed a 10 year old girl's buttocks with baby oil. In each of these cases the man involved could be prosecuted for sexual abuse in the first degree based on touching the intimate parts of a child who was less than 12 years old. The court could conclude that in each of these cases the purpose of the contact was for sexual gratification based on the circumstances of the contact.

Related Offenses
  1. Forcible touching: New York Penal Code section 130.52
  2. Endangering the welfare of a child: New York Penal Code section 260.10

As with any accusation of a sex offense the strongest defense is consent. If you can show that the victim consented to the sexual contact, then the prosecutor will have a difficult time proceeding with the case. Keep in mind, however, that if you face a charge of sexual abuse in the first degree based on sexual contact with a child as defined by the statute, consent is not a defense as children do not have the legal capacity to consent to sex acts.


Since sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony, if you are convicted the maximum possible sentence that you will receive is 7 years in prison. Because there is not a required minimum sentence for a conviction of sexual abuse in the first degree, the judge may sentence you to just probation. If you are sentenced to probation, because sexual abuse in the first degree is both a sex crime and a felony the required term will be 10 years. Furthermore, if you are convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree, you will be required to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).

New York Penal Code section 130.65: Sexual abuse in the first degree

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact:

  1. By forcible compulsion; or
  2. When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
  3. When the other person is less than eleven years old; or
  4. When the other person is less than thirteen years old and the actor is twenty-one years old or older.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

It is important to have experienced representation defend you against a charge of sexual abuse in the first degree. A conviction not only may result in you being incarcerated for several years, your punishment will continue for years into the future after you are released as you will be required to register as a sex offender. 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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