In New York, the age of consent for sex is 17 years old. This applies to men and women, and applies to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct.
However, as in many other states, New York has allowances for minors who are below the age of consent but are close to the same age. This close-in-age exception exists because statutory rape laws are meant to prevent minors from being sexually exploited by adults. It is not meant to punish individuals who are close in age for engaging in consensual, non-exploitative sexual conduct.
The close-in-age exception applies in New York in the older person is less than four years older than the minor and the minor. the exception does not apply if the minor is under the age of 15.
What Are the Penalties for Having Sex with Someone Underage?
In New York, if you are 21 years old or older and have sex with someone under 17 years old and the close in age exception does not apply, then that can be considered a criminal sexual act in the third degree which is a class E felony. A class E felony prison sentence is a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 4 years.
It is considered rape in the second degree if someone older than 18 years old has sex with someone under 15 years old. Rape in the second degree is a class D felony and carries a prison sentence up to 7 years.
If you are older than 18 years and the minor was less than 13 years old, that is considered rape in the first degree and is a class B felony, which has a prison sentence that can range from 10-25 years.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have been accused of statutory rape you should speak with a lawyer immediately. A qualified New York criminal lawyer experienced with criminal defense will be able to advise you of your rights, help you with a defense, and advise you as to what options may be open to you.