NYC Forcible Touching Lawyers
New York’s penal code defines forcible touching as the intentional touching of another person’s sexual or intimate parts for no reason except sexual gratification. Touching covers a variety of different touches including pinching, grabbing, and squeezing. Forcible touching is a sex crime. Unlike the other sex crimes defined in New York’s penal code, forcible touching is not a felony. That said, it is a class A misdemeanor, which is the most serious form of misdemeanor. Conviction can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail.
Convictions also have damaging and lasting consequences as the conviction will be apparent on your criminal record. You will also be placed in the registry of sex offenders. Accusation of forcible touching can affect personal and professional relationships even when the accusation doesn’t result in a conviction. For this reason, it’s important to get in touch with an expert New York attorney as soon as possible. Spodek Law Group is a group of New York City attorneys who have been practicing criminal defense since 1976.
Definition of Forcible Touching
Forcible touching can be colloquially called groping. Oftentimes, this act occurs in public and crowded places like buses, the subway, or bars. One relevant case is the 2002 case People v. Soto, which involved a defendant whose actions occurred in a public and crowded place. The defendant put his fingers onto a woman’s vagina through the fabric of her clothing while the two were on the subway together. Another example is People v. Parbhu, another 2002 case. In this case, the defendant rubbed his penis against the thigh and buttocks of a woman while the two were waiting for the subway.
Forcible touching isn’t required to happen in crowded places. Oftentimes, the crime occurs in private homes. The defendant in these cases tends to be a friend of the family or the victim’s relative. The 2010 case People v. Smileyinvolved a defendant who was the victim’s father. Meanwhile, People v. Powell was a 2008 case in which the defendant was the cousin of the victim. Both of these cases involve incidents which occurred while inside a private home.
Forcible touching is different from sex crimes such as rape or sexual misconduct because it doesn’t need to involve penetration, oral sexual acts, or anal sexual acts. The only relevant qualification is that you have touched another person’s intimate areas without their consent and without a legitimate reason. Skin-to-skin contact isn’t required for the charge to be leveled. People v. Taylor was a 2009 case in which the defendant stood accused of touching a 14-year-old’s vaginal area with his penis through her pants. Other cases have involved the touching of a woman’s vagina through the fabric of her clothes.
Intimate parts include genitalia, buttocks, and breasts. People v. Smiley resulted in the court holding that the charge was sustainable based on the accusation that the defendant had touched the vagina of a 13-year-old girl, grabbed her breasts, and squeezed her buttocks. Most cases involving forcible touching happen when the victim is wearing clothes.
Lack of Consent
The defining characteristic of sex crimes is a lack of consent. There are multiple ways in which lack of consent can be demonstrated, including incapacity to consent, lack of express consent, and forcible compulsion. The prosecutor is not required to prove that physical force was exerted or the victim was threatened in order to prove forcible touching occurred. It’s only required that the victim testify they didn’t consent to the act in any way.