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NYC Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree Lawyers

As a class E felony, conviction of fourth degree aggravated sexual abuse in New York can result in a maximum prison sentence of four years. Understanding what constitutes this crime means awareness of the two instances that would result in the abuse.

Defining Fourth Degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse

The first of these is an allegation of physical injury to someone who was unable to offer consent to the act. This injury was allegedly caused by the insertion of the accused’s finger into the victim’s anus, penis, rectum, urethra or vagina. In the second instance, insertion of a foreign object to one of those areas and without consent also meets the current standard under New York statutes.

Being convicted requires proof that the accused either used their finger or a foreign object on the aforementioned parts of the victim, who was incapable of consent. Technically, the statute has no definition of a foreign object, which can include countless items.

Defining Lack of Capacity

Since both aspects of the crime involve the inability to offer consent, understanding what constitutes that inability is necessary. Some examples include:

  • Physical Helplessness: Someone unconscious or otherwise unable to offer consent to having a finger or foreign object inserted into their anus, penis, rectum, urethra or vagina. Arrest results when an individual allegedly causes the helplessness or commits the act after finding someone in an unconscious or non-consensual state.
  • Mental Incapacity: Consuming a substance that unknowingly causes intoxication, as with a spiked drink, results in mental incapacitation.
  • Mentally Disabled: Someone incapable of understanding the conduct in question. That means that even if the individual either initiates or consents to the act, a crime is considered to have been committed.
  • Forcible Compulsion: Allegedly using physical force to insert their finger or a foreign object into a victim’s anus, penis, rectum, urethra or vagina. These can be a verbal threat, in conjunction with use of a weapon or involve threatening to kidnap the victim. Threatening that individual’s family members or friends also falls under this crime.

Arrest and Pre-Trial

Arrest for this crime results in an arraignment that could result in additional or more serious charges. At that time, bail may be set or the accused could either be held without bail or even released on their own recognizance. A court date is set, with a subsequent plea bargain possible. If the latter isn’t achieved, the case goes to trial.

Possible Defenses

Some legitimate defenses exist, such as if the victim hasn’t been injured, wasn’t forced, helpless, incapacitated or disabled. In addition, licensed medical practitioners performing valid medical procedures can’t be charged and there’s a five-year statute of limitations on such charges. If the victim was a minor, that five-year span begins when they reach the age of 18.

Conviction Ramifications

There’s no mandatory minimum sentence for conviction, with probation for a 10-year period possible. However, a previous felony conviction mandates a minimum three-year prison sentence. That probation could include wearing an electronic monitor and other restrictions. Registering as a sex offender is also required and will be in place for at least 20 years, with some remaining on the list for life.

Choosing Right

The severity of the penalties involved with this crime means obtaining quality legal representation. Contacting the Spodek Law Group can offer the accused that aid from a law firm with over four decades of experience. So if you or someone you know needs legal help, contact us immediately.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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