Rape is a sexual assault that involves sexual intercourse or any other form of sexual penetration without a person’s consent. This usually includes force, coercion, or committing a sex act against an individual who is unable to give consent (i.e. mental illness or defect).

  • Date Rape: this is a type of rape that occurs between two people who have or have had a romantic or sexual relationship. Date Rape usually occurs on college campuses where drugs and alcohol play a huge role.
  • Prison Rape: this rape occurs in prison and is usually done by inmates to other inmates.
  • Marital Rape: this is non-consensual sex where the assailant is the victim’s spouse (or life partner). This falls under domestic abuse or partner rape.
  • Statutory Rape: this is a type of rape that occurs when an adult engages in sexual intercourse with an individual who is below the age required to give consent legally. The terminology of statutory rape can vary from state to state.
  • Gang Rape: this type of rape occurs when two or more individuals engage in non-consensual sex with a single person. This is a crime that is committed usually by younger perpetrators with the injuries being much more severe.

Rape is punished severely in the State of New York. The highest level of conviction for rape is first degree which carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. There are second and third degree rape convictions that will carry different prison sentences.

  • Second degree: Rape in the second degree is considered a reduced charge with smaller prison times. You are guilty of rape in the second degree if you engage in sex with someone who is unable to consent by reason of mentally disabled or incapacitated. Statutory rape (sex with someone under 15) is also covered under rape in the second degree.
  • Third degree: Rape in the third degree is when the defendant is 21 or older and has sex with someone under 17. The defendant may also be found guilty of rape in the third degree if he or she is caught having sex with someone that is incapacitated for any other reason besides inability to consent.

  • Alibi: The accused was in a different location when the crime was committed.
  • Mistaken Identity: the victim has accused the wrong person or is mistaken.
  • DNA evidence: The DNA on the victim from the attack does not match the accused.

Most rape cases are under the jurisdiction of state rather than federal courts unless the sexual assault occurs under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. This would make it a federal crime which carries the same penalties as local government.

The Steubenville High School rape is a high profile case that occurred on August 2012. A high-school girl who was drunk was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her fellow class mates who recorded the incident and posted the videos online. The resulting legal proceedings created considerable controversy. Two students and high school football players were convicted in juvenile court for the rape. Additionally, three other adults have been indicted for obstructing the investigation into the rape.