Sex crimes cover a wide range of offenses in New York. They include but are not limited to sex abuse, sexual assault, statutory rape, date rape, Internet sex crimes, and possession of child pornography.

Sexual Misconduct

A person is guilty of the offense of Sexual Misconduct if they have sex with someone else without that person’s knowledge or consent, or engage in sexual conduct with an animal or a human corpse. It is a Class A misdemeanor that can result in a 1-year jail sentence.


There are three degrees of rape.

Rape in the Third Degree applies when a person has sex with someone who is incapable of consent, or if they are twenty-one or older and have sex with a person younger than seventeen. It is a Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

Rape in the Second Degree takes place when someone aged eighteen or older has sex with a person younger than fifteen, or someone who cannot consent due to mental disability or incapacity. This crime is a Class D felony that can result in prison time of up to 7 years.

Rape in the First Degree is when someone engages in sex with someone else by force or when that person is physically helpless. The same offense covers sex with a person younger than eleven or thirteen (in the latter instance, the accused must be older than eighteen). Rape in the First Degree is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is also a sex crime with three degrees.

Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree applies when someone subjects another person to sexual contact without their consent. A Class B misdemeanor can result in up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree takes place when the victim is less than fourteen years old or incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being younger than seventeen. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree involves the use of force or a victim that is less than eleven years old. Sexual Abuse in the First degree is a Class D felony punishable by 1-7 years in prison.

Related Crimes

  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse – which has four degrees of severity
  • Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child
  • Forcible Touching
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance.

Sex Offender Registration

New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act requires a convicted sex offender to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services upon release from jail or prison.

To learn more about Sex Offender Registration, also known as “SORA,” click the following link to visit our “Sex Offender Registration” page.

Being accused of a sexual crime can ruin a person for the rest of their life, even if the accusation turns out to be false. If anyone is charged with a sex crime, they need to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in defending sexual crime allegations.

  • Aggravated Harassment
  • Assault
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child
  • Robbery
  • Stalking

Sex crimes are punished on the federal level if they occur in federal prison or a special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. government. Sexual Abuse, Aggravated Sexual Abuse, and sexual offenses against a minor or ward can be punished by a life sentence. Abusive Sexual Contact can result in up to 10 years in a federal prison Recognized defenses to certain crimes include the reasonable belief that the other person was sixteen or older or the fact that both parties were married.

Failure to realize that the victim was incapable of consenting, conduct performed for a legitimate mental or health care purpose, being married to the victim (if the alleged victim did not have the capacity to consent strictly because they were under seventeen, mentally incompetent, or the client of a health care provider) or mental illness are all viable defenses.

On February 25, 2013, Devon McGee, 23, was convicted for the 2010 rape of a woman in his Harlem apartment. A jury in New York State Supreme Court found him guilty of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Rape in the First Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree.