Sex offenses carry some of the most severe and potentially damaging penalties of any crime – including lengthy prison terms. These cases are highly driven by the accusations of the complainant and too often there are no available witnesses other than the alleged victim and the accused; the defendant. If you are facing charges for a sex offense, including forcible touching, sexual abuse or rape, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you better understand not only the procedural aspects of a sex offense case, but the legal ramifications of a guilty or a required trial. Michael Redenburg, Esq. is experienced in defending those charged with sex offenses in the New York City area.
Distinguishing Between the Various Sex Crimes
When it comes to sex crimes, there are highly specific factors that differentiate one offense from another. These may include: the age of the victim, use of force or weapon and the relationship between the parties. The most common sex crimes are described below:
- Forcible Touching: This crime involves forcibly touching the sexual or other intimate parts of another person intentionally and for no legitimate purpose; for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire. New York Penal Law Section 130.52 is a Class A Misdemeanor;
- Sexual Misconduct: This crime is set forth in NY Penal Law Section 130.20 and a person can be charged with this crime if it is alleged that they engaged in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent; or engaged in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person's consent. It is also important to note that a person is deemed incapable of consent when he or she is less than seventeen years old; mentally disabled; mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.
- Rape: Rape differs from sexual contact in that the act must involve sexual intercourse or penetration between the victim and the perpetrator. Similar to unlawful sexual contact, rape is often classified according to degrees, which differ depending on the presence of certain aggravating factors. Statutory rape occurs when the victim is younger than the lawful age to consent to sexual intercourse. Other factors include whether the perpetrator was in a position of trust over or significantly older than the victim. Rape which carries the highest penalty often involves extreme violence, deadly weapons, severe bodily injury or an exceptionally young victim.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
By working with a criminal defense attorney, you can introduce certain defenses to sex crimes to either lessen your culpability or avoid prosecution all together. The defense of consent is often invoked and requires a showing that, with regard to the particular sex act in question, the alleged victim actually consented to the sexual interaction. If the prosecution is alleging certain aggravating factors to enhance your potential penalties, you may be able to introduce evidence to rebut the presence of these factors, which could result in a successful guilty plea to lesser crime. There are also other affirmative defenses available to health care and medical providers if the complainant is a patient.
If you are being charged with a sex crime, you could potentially endure serious, life-changing consequences. To protect your rights and ensure your continued freedom, you need a compassionate and aggressive advocate in your corner to combat the prosecutor’s allegations and help protect you from incarceration, penalties and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Contact Michael Redenburg at (212)240-9465 today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your options.