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Sexual Abuse in the First Degree - NYPL § 130.65

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In New York, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a severe criminal offense that involves non-consensual sexual contact under specific circumstances. These include situations where the contact is forced, the victim is physically incapable of giving consent, the victim is under eleven years old, or the victim is under thirteen and the perpetrator is twenty-one or older. Given the serious nature of these charges, which are classified as Class D felonies, it is crucial for anyone facing such allegations to grasp the legal stakes and their rights under the law.

Facing charges of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree can be daunting, and the outcome can deeply impact your life. By working with a knowledgeable sex crimes lawyer from Lebedin Kofman LLP, you can ensure that your side of the story is heard and that your rights are vigorously defended throughout the legal process. If you have been charged with Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal help. Contact Lebedin Kofman LLP today to discuss your situation and learn more about how we can assist you in this critical time.

Hypothetical Example

Consider a scenario where a healthcare worker, David, is assigned to care for Jane, a patient who is under sedation following surgery. David exploits this situation to engage in non-consensual touching of Jane’s intimate parts. This act is discovered through surveillance footage. In this case, David could be charged with Sexual Abuse in the First Degree due to Jane’s physically helpless condition, which made her incapable of giving consent.

Related Offenses

Elements and Definitions

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a serious criminal offense under New York Penal Law.

A person can be charged with this crime if they engage in sexual contact with another person under the following conditions:

  • The sexual contact was forced upon the other person against their will.
  • The other person was unable to give consent because they were physically incapacitated.
  • The other person involved is younger than eleven years old.
  • The other person is younger than thirteen years old and the person committing the act is at least twenty-one years old.

This offense is classified as a Class D felony, which carries significant legal consequences.

Possible Legal Defenses

Defending against a charge of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree might involve several potential legal strategies:

  • Consent: Arguing that the alleged victim was not physically helpless and gave informed and voluntary consent, though this is rare and difficult to prove given the nature of the charges.
  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the contact was not for sexual gratification or to degrade.
  • Mistaken Identity: Claiming that the defendant was not the individual who committed the act.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Highlighting the lack of concrete evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the act occurred as described by the prosecution.


Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is classified as a Class D felony in New York, which may result in:

  • Imprisonment: Up to 7 years in state prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years at a state prison
  • Sex Offender Registration: First Degree Sexual Abuse is an offense that falls under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). Upon conviction, the defendant would be made to register identifying information on the sex offender registry. A hearing would be held to determine the risk level of the defendant, based on the likelihood of them reoffending. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a defendant may be made to register for up to 20 years.
  • Fines and Probation: Significant fines of up to $5,000 and possible probation periods, including mandatory counseling or therapy.

Given the longstanding repercussions of a conviction, including registration in the sex offender registry, it is crucial for anyone charged with this offense to seek skilled and professional counsel. An experienced attorney can investigate the relevant details of each case and can mount an effective defense.

New York Penal Law § 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.

Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony.

Protect Your Rights with Experienced Legal Representation from Lebedin Kofman LLP

Understanding the laws surrounding Sexual Abuse in the First Degree in New York is critical, especially for those facing such serious charges. The consequences of a conviction can be life-altering, making it essential to have a thorough defense prepared by experienced legal professionals. At Lebedin Kofman LLP, our attorneys are committed to upholding your rights and providing a strong legal defense. We focus on detailed examination of the evidence and effective courtroom strategies to support our clients.

If you or a loved one has been charged under New York Penal Law § 130.65, it’s important to act quickly to safeguard your future.

Reach out to Lebedin Kofman LLP to discuss your case with a knowledgeable New York City sexual abuse attorney. Contact us today at (646) 663-4430 to ensure that your legal rights are protected and to explore the best possible defenses in your case.

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