Some allegations of sex crimes are relatively minor. As defined in New York Penal Law §130.52, a person performing a forced and unwanted act of sexual touching on another is a class A misdemeanor offense. A conviction here carries a maximum jail sentence of one year.
More serious are allegations of sex crimes that the court considers felonies. New York Penal Law separates felonies into multiple categories ranging in severity from class E up to class A-I. Sex crimes may fit into any of these categories, and most allegations carry multiple levels of severity within Penal Law.
For example, aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth degree is a class E felony under New York Penal Law §130.65a. However, depending on the facts of the case, the court may also charge a person with aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree. According to New York Penal Law §130.67, this is a class C felony.
The common thread with all these categories of felony sex crimes is that you may be sentenced to over one year in jail on conviction. More serious charges carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Possible Consequences Resulting from Sex Crimes
The mere allegation of a sex crime could forever change your life. Even before the case goes to court, the charges may be reported in the media and your home life may be affected, even if the alleged victim is not a household member.
Separate from the possibility of a prison sentence and fines, many sex crimes also require you to register as a sex offender if you are convicted. Convictions for rape or criminal sexual acts will always require this registration, and forcible touching may also trigger this requirement under certain circumstances. A full list of the applicable statutes can be found here.