Long Island Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer
Representing Clients Accused of Sexual Assault Throughout Nassau and Suffolk County
In New York, sexual assault or sexual abuse encompasses a variety of offenses involving unwanted sexual contact. A conviction for sexual assault carries severe penalties, such as imprisonment, probation, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Having a criminal record can also cause lasting harm to your reputation which can hinder future employment prospects and make it difficult to find a place to live. With so much at stake, it is crucial to have aggressive legal representation.
Barket Epstein & Kearon is a premier criminal defense law firm serving clients in New York City and Long Island. Our legal team knows how to handle sexual assault cases and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. Although sexual assault charges are vigorously prosecuted, we will work strategically to build the best line of defense and preserve your freedom.
What is sexual assault?
In addition to rape, sexual assault includes many other forms of sexual misconduct. We have a proven track record of successfully representing clients facing sexual assault charges found under Article 130 of the New York State Penal Law, including:
- Criminal sexual acts
- Forcible touching
- Sexual abuse
- Aggravated sexual abuse
- Course of sexual conduct against a child
- Female genital mutilation
- Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance
The key element in each offense is the subjection of another individual to sexual contact without his or her consent. The penal code defines sexual contact as any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of either party’s sexual gratification. This may involve either touching of the accused by the victim, or touching of the victim by the accused, whether directly or through clothing.
Under the law, lack of consent may involve forcible compulsion, the victim’s incapacity to consent, or any circumstance in which a victim does not expressly or implicitly consent to sexual contact. Forcible compulsion includes either the use of physical force or the threat of immediate death, physical injury or kidnapping. Moreover, individuals who are under the age of 17, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless are considered incapable of giving consent.
Sexual Assault Penalties in New York
There are varying degrees of sexual assault in New York based on factors such as the circumstances of the conduct and the victim’s age. First-degree sexual abuse, for example, can be charged when the accused subjects the victim to sexual contact through force, the victim is physically helpless, the victim is under the age of 11, or the victim is less than 13 years of age and the accused is 21 years or older. Sexual Abuse in the First Degree is a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Rape, on the other hand, is defined as causing another person to engage in sexual intercourse against his or her will. Cases involving forced non-consensual sexual intercourse or an adult having sex with a minor under the age of 11 are typically charged as first-degree rape, a Class B felony, punishable by 5 to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 or both. Finally, individuals convicted of sexual assault in New York are required to register as sex offenders.
How Barket Epstein & Kearon Will Defend You Against Sexual Assault Charges
If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is crucial to contact us as soon as possible so that we can start working on a defense strategy. Our attorneys understand the complexities involved in trying sexual assault cases, not the least of which is the fact that there are often no witnesses other than the parties involved.
Through our many years of practice, we have seen how a conviction often depends on factors such as the credibility of the victim’s testimony or the collection of forensic evidence by law enforcement, such as DNA testing. After conducting a thorough investigation which includes interviewing the victim and any witnesses, and collecting all pertinent evidence (e.g. phone records, email records, medical reports), we will look to assert a number of defenses, starting with claiming your innocence.
Obviously, the strongest defense is to have an alibi — you were not at the scene at the time the crime was committed. In this regard, we will work to produce evidence such as credit card bills, gas station receipts, hotel invoices, social media posts, employment records as well as the testimony of corroborating witnesses. Similarly, we may be able to prove that the alleged victim misidentified you, and that another person committed the crime. Here, we will attack the state’s evidence by questioning the accuracy of DNA tests or any other forensic evidence. Finally, it may also be possible to show that the alleged victim consented to the sexual contact. It is worth noting, however, that the age of consent in New York is 17 and lack of knowledge of the victim’s age is not a valid defense against sexual assault charges.
Barket Epstein was founded on the principle that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you have been charged with sexual assault or any other sexually motivated felony, we will take the time to fully explain your rights and work to win an acquittal. We will also be completely honest about the strength of the evidence against you and may recommend seeking a reduction of the charges. Above all, our dedicated attorneys will always put your best interests first. Your future is our primary concern. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a consultation.