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New York's Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

You may find that the term “prohibited consensual sex activities” is not only a mouthful to say, but that it also sounds a little contradictory. How can a sex act be both consensual and prohibited?  

When we think of sex crimes, we usually think of crimes that involve a lack of consent, such as sexual assault and child molestation. But there are a number of violations in the state of New York that can be deemed as a sex crime. For example, consensual sex between underage teenagers, also known as statutory rape, is considered a prohibited consensual sex activity.

It’s of note that sodomy laws that applied to same-sex partners have been stricken down as unconstitutional; but historically, sodomy (anal or oral sex) between two consenting partners was a prohibited consensual sex activity.

This is crucial to know and understand because being charged and convicted of a sex crime can land you on both the federal and state sex offender registry lists. Depending on the severity of the crime, you could be on it for at least 25 years. More serious sex crimes can have you on the sex offender registry for life. Being on this list can prevent you from finding and keeping a job, finding and securing a place to live, and applying to college.

Other examples of prohibited consensual sexual activity include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Public lewdness
  • Prostitution
  • Solicitation of a prostitute

In comparison to more violent sex crimes, you may not take the list above very seriously. But in light of the sometimes irreparable damage that being on a sex offender registry can possibly do to someone’s life, it’s important to bear in mind that the severity of the crime does not necessarily matter in terms of being on this registry.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any sort of sex crime, please contact a good criminal defense attorney as soon as reasonably possible.

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Robert D. DiDio
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Kew Gardens, NY 11415

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