Sexually Motivated Felony under NY Penal Law 130.91

by ECL Writer
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In the realm of criminal law, few topics are as sensitive and complex as those related to sexual offences. In the state of New York, the legal system has evolved to address these offences, recognizing the need for nuanced statutes that account for the varying degrees of harm caused to victims. Among the statutes that have emerged to address this issue, NY Penal Law 130.91 stands as a pivotal piece of legislation, focusing on sexually motivated felonies.

Sexually motivated felonies are a unique category of offences that delve into the psychological and emotional aspects of criminal behaviour, acknowledging the motivations behind the crimes themselves. These offences encompass a wide range of actions, from sexual assault to harassment, and are governed by a set of laws and regulations that seek to ensure justice for both victims and accused individuals.

This article will serve as a comprehensive guide to NY Penal Law 130.91, shedding light on the intricacies of sexually motivated felonies, their legal implications, and the broader implications of this legislation within the context of New York’s criminal justice system. We will explore the definitions, penalties, and the overarching importance of understanding and addressing sexually motivated felonies in contemporary society.

Sexually Motivated Felony

If you commit a felony, such as an assault, kidnapping, or burglary for sexual gratification, you have also committed a sexually motivated felony, which is defined in the New York Penal Code section 130.91. For more information, go to You must commit or attempt to commit one of the specified felonies listed in the sexually motivated felony statute in order to be charged with this crime. The 29 felonies on the list are:

  • assault offences
  • Crimes of Murder and Manslaughter
  • Kriminal Kidnapping
  • Theft of Property
  • Arson Offenses
  • theft offences
  • Obscenity and Prostitution-Related Crimes

You must additionally commit, attempt to commit, or have the intention to commit a sex offence in addition to that offence.

When one of the listed felonies is committed with sexual motivation, the underlying felony is automatically upgraded to a “violent felony offence,” making it more dangerous. As a result, if found guilty, you will receive a harsher punishment than if the crime had been committed for another reason.

Sexually motivated felony defences

You would need to establish your innocence of the underlying offence in order to successfully defend against the sexually motivated felony. For instance, if you were accused of committing a burglary crime, you would have to refute testimony proving that you actually broke into someone’s home. Additionally, you would have to respond to the charge that you did or planned to commit a sex crime. You may, for instance, provide proof that any sexual interaction was consenting.

Sexually motivated felony Sentence

When a crime has a sexual motivation, it is classified as both a violent felony and a sex offence. This means that rather than receiving a felony term, you will receive a sentence based on both the laws governing violent felonies and sex offences. Additionally, you will be guilty of at least two felonies. There will be a mandatory minimum prison term as part of your punishment.

You will also be forced to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) for at least 20 years and possibly for the rest of your life because you will have committed a sex crime.

New York Penal Code section 130.91: Sexually motivated felony

A sexually motivated felony occurs when an individual commits a specific crime with the primary or significant intention of satisfying their own sexual desires. These “specified offences” encompass various serious crimes, including assault, stalking, strangulation, manslaughter, murder, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, promoting prostitution, disseminating indecent material to minors, and involving children in sexual performances. Additionally, any attempt or conspiracy to commit these offences is also considered a sexually motivated felony.

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