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Sex Crimes

Few criminal accusations are more serious than an accusation for a sex crime. As a society, we have framed sexual offenses to be among the worst type of crimes, and the penalties our laws create reflect that mentality. The New York County District Attorney in Manhattan aggressively prosecutes these types of offenses. Sex crimes carry a stigma that will follow you for a lifetime.

Sex crimes are often based on weak evidence including false or exaggerated statements. The prosecutor’s case will not fall apart by itself.  A skilled advocate must show often-unsympathetic judges, juries and prosecutors the weaknesses in a case.

Lawyer for Sex Crimes in Manhattan

At Greco Neyland, PC, we take on difficult cases and seek freedom for people in New York City facing charges of a sex crime. When we take your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation into the accusations, finding the holes in the case against you and using those faults to seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Our Manhattan sexual offense lawyers will passionately make your case to judges and juries. As former prosecutors, we understand the tactics of New York assistant district attorneys (ADAs). We’ll put that knowledge to work for your defense.

Contact us today at (212) 951-1300 so that we can immediately begin developing a defense strategy for you. We represent clients throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn and all other boroughs in the New York area. Our attorneys represent clients on a wide range of sexual motivated crimes including forcible touching and public lewdness.


New York Sex Crimes Information Center


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Rape, Sexual Misconduct and Other Offenses Involving Nonconsensual Sex

When most people think of nonconsensual sex as a criminal offense, they think of rape. Rape has a specific meaning under New York law, though. Other offenses may also involve forms of nonconsensual sex.

Rape is a felony charge found in New York Penal Law §§ 130.25-35. There are three different degrees of rape, which range from a Class E felony to a Class B felony. It refers to sexual intercourse — meaning that the penis penetrates the vagina. The degree of the offense depends on circumstances the prosecutors can prove, including the age of the victim and whether forcible compulsion was used.

Criminal sexual act (New York Penal Law §§ 130.40-50) and aggravated sexual abuse (New York Penal Law §§ 130.65-70) cover other forms of penetration, including anal penetration, oral penetration and penetration by foreign objects. These offenses, like rape, have differing degrees and can carry the same penalties. 

Other felony sex crimes include:

  • Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (New York Penal Law § 130.65)
  • Persistent Sexual Abuse (New York Penal Law § 130.53)
  • Course of Sexual Abuse Against a Child (New York Penal Law §§ 130.75-80)
  • Predatory Sexual Attack on a Child (New York Penal Law § 130.96)

There are also sex offenses that are misdemeanors. Misdemeanor charges should be treated just as seriously, because they often result in registration requirements discussed below. Misdemeanor sex offenses include:

  • Sexual Misconduct (New York Penal Law § 130.20)
  • Forcible Touching (New York Penal Law § 130.52)
  • Sexual Abuse (Second and Third Degree) (New York Penal Law §§ 130.55-60)

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Consent in Sex Crime Cases

In cases involving allegations of sex crimes, consent is often the most contentious issue. In some cases, the issue is over whether the alleged victim gave consent. Some victims have been known to “change their mind” after a sexual encounter that they regret.

Under New York law, people younger than 11 can never legally consent to sex. For victims between the ages of 11 and 17, the age of the accused is a factor. It is a criminal offense for a person 18 and older to have sex with anyone between the ages of 12 and 16, and a criminal offense for a person older than 21 to have sex with a person who is 17 years old.

Other people who cannot give consent include:

  • The physically helpless, who are unconscious and/or physically unable to give consent;
  • The mentally disabled, who are unable to appraise the nature of a decision to have sex; and
  • The mentally incapacitated, who are temporarily unable to consent because of a drug or any other intoxicating substance given to them without their consent.

The last category covers many accusations involving date rape, whereby the defendant and alleged victim know each other typically.


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Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)

If convicted of a sex offense, you may face time in prison. Upon being released, you will face a hearing to determine your “risk level.” The court will also determine if certain labels apply to you, including “predicate sex offender,” “sexually violent offender,” or “sexual predator.”

This determination is used to determine what information you must report as a registered sex offender, and how long you will have to remain registered. Any information you are required to report will be available on a public database, where people can search by name or zip code. You may even be required to report your place of employment, which could severely hurt your job opportunities.

In addition to the offenses above, registration offenses include:


Expert Testimony in Sex Crimes Cases in New York

In many sex cases prosecuted in Manhattan and throughout New York City, the prosecution will offer expert testimony of a clinical psychologist to aid the jury’s understanding of the reasons that a child might delay disclosure, particularly when sexual abuse occurs in family settings.

New York courts have determined that an expert witness may, under limited circumstances, testify in sex abuse cases about the following: 

  1. intra-familial child and adolescent child sexual abuse syndrome;
  2. child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome; or
  3. other types of conditions associated with victims of sex abuse.

The expert witness may now, however, improperly bolstered the victim’s testimony or draw a comparison between child sexual abuse syndrome and the facts of this case. The use of clinical psychologist by the prosecutor is often a highly contested issue in these types of cases. 


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New York Sex Crime Resources

The New York County District Attorney’s Office — On this website you can find information about getting help after a sexual assault, what happens after an arrest, and answers to other questions. There is also contact information for various local resources.

One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013
(212) 335-9000

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) — You can find news, information on upcoming events, and other resources on this website. The organization works with local, regional state and national organizations to end sexual violence with campaigns for state funding to Rape Crisis Programs and improved access to criminal courts for survivors of sexual violence.

28 Essex Street
Albany, NY 12206
(518) 482-4222

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Sex Crime Lawyer in Manhattan and New York City

If you face charges of a sex offense, the best way to avoid these very serious consequences is to have skilled legal representation now. When you turn to Greco Neyland, PC, an aggressive Manhattan sex crime lawyer will be fighting for your freedom. Call us today at (212) 951-1300 for a free consultation.

We represent clients on a wide variety of serious felony charges including those that are sexually motivated. Let us put our experience to work for you today. 


This article was last updated on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

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