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Nassau County Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree

N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.75

Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree, is one of 4 sex crimes that specifically punishes sex conduct against minor and does not address sexual conduct against adults. Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree is offense that seeks to punish those who repeatedly sexually molest children. It is defined as

  • Engaging in at least 2 acts of sexual conduct with a child who is less than 11 years old, or
  • Engaging in at least 2 acts of sexual conduct with a child who is less than 13 years old and you are at least 18 years old

At least one of the sex acts involved must be sexual intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, or aggravated sexual conduct. Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree is a Class B felony, potentially sending you to prison for 25 years. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.75. In addition to having to spend a great portion of your life in prison, when you are released you will have a criminal record with a violent felony conviction and you will be a registered sex offender. The best chance of you being able to successfully fight such a charge is for you to be represented by someone with experience as early in your case as possible. If you have been arrested and charged with course of sexual conduct against a child you or a family member should immediately contact an experienced Nassau County Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree Lawyer who is familiar with defending clients who have been charged with sex crimes and who will aggressively defend you against the charges.

Prohibited sexual conduct

There are a several different types of sex acts that when performed with a child are considered sexual assault. Sexual conduct includes sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, aggravated sexual conduct, or sexual contact. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(10). Each of these terms has a very specific definition for purpose of the sex crimes statute.

Sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse involves a penis penetrating a vagina. It does not matter if the penetration is only slight. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(1)

Oral sexual conduct. Oral sexual conduct refers to contact between the mouth and the penis, anus, vulva or vagina. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(2)(a)

Anal sexual conduct. Anal sexual conduct refers to contact between the penis and the anus. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(2)(b)

Aggravated sexual conduct. Aggravated sexual contact is defined as inserting a foreign object in the vagina, urethra, penis, rectum or anus of a child and causing physical injury to such child. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(11)

Sexual conduct. Sexual conduct means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. Examples of sexual or intimate parts include the vagina, penis, breasts, buttocks, and lips. It includes the touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor. It does not matter if the touching is directly on the skin, or if it is through clothing. Furthermore, ejaculating onto the victim or onto the victim's clothing is including in the definition of sexual conduct. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(3)

The issue of consent

The issue of consent is generally relevant to whether or not a sex crime occurred. For example, if you are accused of rape, a strong defense would be evidence that your accuser consented to the sexual intercourse. However, in the case of sex with a child consent is not a defense because under the law a child does not have the legal capacity to consent to any type of sex act. For the purpose of the crime of course of sexual conduct in the first degree, a child is defined as a minor who is less than 11 years old. If you are at least 18 years old, there would have been lack of consent to the sexual conduct if the child was less than 13 years old.

Arrest and arraignment

Local precinct. If you are suspected of committing the crime of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, the first thing that will happen is that you will be arrested and taken to the local police precinct for initial processing. There you will provide the arresting officer with information such as your name, address, date of birth and social security number. You will also be fingerprinted and photographed. The officer will check to see if you have any outstanding warrants or unpaid traffic tickets.

Central Booking. In cases where the charge is a misdemeanor the police officer has the discretion to issue you a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT). With a DAT you will be released after initial processing and be required to return at a later date for your arraignment hearing. However, because course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree is a felony you will not be given a DAT. Instead, after being processed at the local precinct you will be transferred to Central Booking to await arraignment. There are several different Central Booking locations throughout New York. If you are arrested in Nassau County you will be taken to Central Booking located at 99 Main Street in Hempstead. You will remain in Central Booking until you are called for your arraignment.

While you are in Central Booking, a representative from the Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) will interview you in order to determine your ties to the community. Based on the information elicited in the information, the CJA will make a recommendation to the judge regarding bail. The CJA will ask questions regarding where you live, whether you have a job, whether you support your family, and your level of education.

Arraignment. During your arraignment you will learn the charges against you. The prosecutor will have determined the charge or charges based on details about the crime you are accused of, as well as based on your criminal history. Thus, you may be charged with only course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, or you may learn that you are being charged with one or more additional crimes.

Bail. The judge will decide the amount of bail required, if you should be held without bail or if you should be released on your own recognizance (ROR). The judge's decision will be based on several factors including:

  • The seriousness of the charges against you
  • The recommendation of the CJA
  • The arguments of the prosecutor-- which will likely be for no bail or substantial bail
  • The arguments of your defense team-- which will be for ROR or minimal bail

Ultimately, the judge will make an assessment of how much of a flight risk you present. If the judge determines that you present a significant risk of flight, the judge will order you to be held without bail or set a very high bail that you are not likely to be able to post. If the judge decides that you have strong ties to the community and do not present a significant flight risk, the judge will order no bail or a reasonable bail amount. If possible, it is a good idea for a friend or family member to be in the courtroom during your arraignment prepared to post bail for you.

After arraignment. Your arraignment is just the first step in what could be a long, complicated criminal process. There may be a number of hearings and meetings with the prosecutor prior to your case going to trial. At some point the prosecutor may offer you a plea agreement that would require you to plead guilty to a lesser offense such as aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree or rape in the second degree. However, if you plea to a lesser offense you will still be pleading guilty to a crime and you will be sentenced. If you do not accept a plea offer, your case will eventually go to trial.

Possible sentencing

Prison Sentence. The maximum prison sentence for being convicted of course of conduct against a child in the first degree is 25 years as it is a Class B felony. This charge is also classified as a violent felony offense. This means that if you are convicted of this crime you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. There are additional factors that the court will consider in determining your sentence. If this conviction is your second violent felony conviction, the minimum prison sentence that judge will be required to give you is 10 years. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.04. If you are convicted of other crimes in addition to course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree your sentence will be more severe than if you were convicted of just one crime.

On the other hand if you are a first time offender you will still be sentenced to at least 5 years in prison. However, if you are able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor such that the charge is reduced to a crime that is not classified as a violent felony, then it is possible that you could be sentenced to a much shorter prison term or even to probation.

Probation Sentence. If your sentence for being convicted of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree includes probation the mandatory probation term will be 10 years. While on probation you will be required to follow several strict rules that are meant to help you stay out of trouble. These rules may include: you must not commit a crime, you must have a job, you must refrain from using drugs or drinking alcohol excessively, you must refrain from associating with disreputable people, you must refrain from going to disreputable places, you cannot leave New York State without permission, you will be subject to a curfew, and you must regularly check in with your probation officer. If you break the conditions of your probation a judge may send you to jail.

Sex Offender Status. Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree is a registrable offense under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168. Depending on the level of risk you are determined to pose to the public, you will remain on the registry for 20 years or for the rest of your life. If it is determined that you pose a high risk to the public, your name, photograph and other personal identifying information will be listed in the public sex offender directory so that anyone can go online and find that you are a registered sex offender. All registered sex offenders must verify their addresses with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) each year, and must inform the DCJS of a new addresses within 10 days of moving. If you move out of state, you must register as a sex offender under the rules of your new jurisdiction.

Defending any sex offense charge is always complex. Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree presents even more complicated issues as it refers to not just one encounter, but multiple encounters. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of sex crimes including course of sexual conduct against a child, child rape, statutory rape, child molestation, forcible touching, sexual abuse, and facilitating a sexual offense with a controlled substance. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

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