New York Penal Code Section 130.52: Forcible Touching

by ECL Writer

In the bustling heart of the United States, New York City stands as a global symbol of diversity, culture, and opportunity. However, beneath the city’s vibrant exterior, there exists a complex legal framework designed to protect the rights and safety of its residents. One such legal provision, New York Penal Code Section 130.52, addresses a critical issue: Forcible Touching.

Forcible Touching is a term that carries significant weight in New York’s criminal justice system. It involves a range of non-consensual sexual acts and is crucial in maintaining the security and dignity of individuals within the state. Understanding this statute is essential for both residents and visitors to New York, as it delineates the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and the legal consequences for transgressors.

In this article, will delve into the intricacies of New York Penal Code Section 130.52: Forcible Touching, shedding light on its definition, penalties, and the broader implications it holds within the state’s legal framework. Whether you’re a legal scholar, a concerned citizen, or simply curious about the laws that govern New York, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights into this vital aspect of the state’s legal landscape.

Examples Of Forcible Touching in NY

A man touches a woman’s vagina while standing in a packed train car while wearing her attire. Given that he did not have the woman’s consent to touch him, this man may be charged with forceful contact.

Another instance involves a 14-year-old girl’s 25-year-old uncle touching her vaginal region through her pants. A 14-year-old is too young to provide his or her consent to sexual contact, so the prosecution might charge the uncle with forceful touching.

Forcible Touching Defenses in New York

There might be defences that could strengthen your case, just like with any sex crime. You have a strong defence if, for instance, you can demonstrate that the touching was unintentional. Or, you have a strong defence if you can demonstrate that the individual you touched gave their agreement. These are only two of the potential defences. There might be further defences, such as mistaken identity or the statute of limitations, depending on the particulars of your case.


The maximum term for forced touching, a class A misdemeanour, is up to one year in jail. If you commit a crime for the first time, your sentencing might only involve probation rather than any jail time. Since forceful touching is a sex crime and a misdemeanour, if you are given probation, your probation period will be 6 years.

Additionally, you will be added to the sex offender registry in accordance with New York correction statute 168, sometimes known as the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), if you are found guilty of forced touching and the victim was a minor. This implies that your name, address, and other personal information must be registered with law enforcement. For at least 20 years and possibly the rest of your life, you will be required to abide by the sex offender registration and verification requirements.

New York Penal Code § 130.52: Forcible touching

A person engages in forced touching when they purposefully touch another person’s personal areas for the aim of humiliating or abusing them, or for the fulfillment of their own sexual desires, without a legal justification.

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