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Forcible Touching

A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact without that person's consent. The criminal offense of forcible touching was created with the passage of the New York Sexual Assault Reform Act in 2001.

The difference between the offense of sexual abuse in the third degree under New York Penal Law § 130.55and forcible touching under New York Penal Law § 130.52was perhaps best explained by the New York County Criminal Court in its decision in People v. Soto, 192 Misc.2d 161, 167 (Crim. Ct., NY County 2002):

The term "sexual abuse" contained in Penal Law § 130.05 (2) (c) must be read to encompass the term "forcible touching" contained in Penal Law § 130.52 in order to give effect to the legislative intent. The primary conduct prohibited in sexual abuse in the third degree and forcible touching is identical: an unwanted touching of one's intimate body parts. Forcible touching contains an additional alternative intent element and requires a level of force not required in the sexual abuse statute, which raises the level of the primary act. For this reason, forcible touching is an aggravated form of sexual abuse.

Forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree are both misdemeanor offenses, but forcible touching carries a longer possible jail sentence. Some people may be issued desk appearance tickets (DATs) for forcible touching, but it is important to understand that such paperwork (which often has the appearance of a common traffic ticket) is actually a formal notice to appear in court and a person can have a warrant issued for his or her arrest if he or she misses that court date.

Lawyer for Forcible Touching Arrests in Nassau County, NY

Were you arrested or issued a DAT for an alleged forcible touching offense anywhere in New York City? Instead of attempting to explain yourself, you will want to immediately contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

Garden City criminal defense attorney Stephanie Selloni aggressively defends clients accused of sexual offenses in Freeport, Massapequa Park, North Hempstead, Glen Cove, Garden City, and many surrounding areas of Long Island.

Call 516-972-1212 today to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Forcible Touching in New York


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Forcible Touching Charges in Long Island, NY

Under New York Penal Law § 130.52, a person commits the criminal offense of forcible touching if he or she intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose:

  • forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the alleged offender's sexual desire; or
  • subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying the alleged offender's sexual desire and with intent to degrade or abuse such other person while such other person is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car operated by any transit agency, authority or company, public or private, whose operation is authorized by New York state or any of its political subdivisions.

For the purposes of New York Penal Law § 130.52, the phrase forcible touching includes "squeezing, grabbing or pinching"—although the Nassau District Court noted in its decision in People v Taylor (see Resources below) that these terms are not necessary elements, but rather "examples of conduct encompassed by the offense of forcible touching."


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Forcible Touching Penalties in Garden City, NY

Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor. In order for a person to be convicted of forcible touching, a prosecutor will need to prove each of the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt; the highest criminal standard:

  • That on or about the date in question, the alleged offender forcibly touched the sexual or other intimate parts of the complainant for the purpose of degrading or abusing him or her, or for the purpose of gratifying the alleged offender's sexual desire;
  • That the alleged offender did so intentionally and for no legitimate purpose; and
  • That the alleged offender did so without the consent of the complainant in that he or she did not expressly or impliedly acquiesce to the alleged offender's conduct.

As a class A misdemeanor, a forcible touching conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail. People who are convicted of this crime can also be required to register as sex offenders.


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Forcible Touching Resource in Nassau County

Criminal Jury Instructions | Forcible Touching New York Penal Law § 130.52(1) — View the full text of the standard instructions provided to juries hearing forcible touching cases in New York. In addition to these instructions which do not specify a location, jury instructions also exist for forcible touching offenses committed on a bus, train, or subway car. The instructions not only explain what constitutes an offense, but also defines sexual contact and intentionally.

People v Taylor (2009 NY Slip Op 29000) — Leon Taylor was originally charged, by Information, with sexual abuse in the third degree, but none of the cases relied upon by Taylor involved the charge of forcible touching, instead only addressing sexual abuse in the third degree, and the District Court noted that a finding of sexual abuse in the third degree does not preclude a finding of forcible touching.


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Law Office of Stephanie Selloni | Garden City Forcible Touching Defense Attorney

If you were issued a DAT or arrested for forcible touching in New York City, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents residents of and visitors to communities all over the greater Long Island area, such as Long Beach, Hempstead, Mineola, Lynbrook, Oyster Bay, and many others.

Stephanie Selloni is a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Nassau County who will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences. You can have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call 516-972-1212 or submit an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.



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