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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

What is the difference between rape and sexual assault?

Rape is the commission of non-consensual sexual intercourse against an individual by way of physical force, or the use of threats or drugs. Statutory rape, which may appear to be consensual, takes place when a person past the age of consent engages in intercourse with a minor. Because minors are incapable of legally consenting to sex, such conduct is considered rape under strict criminal liability.

Sexual assault is defined as causing another individual to be subjected to sexual contact without consent. Under New York Penal Code §(3), “sexual contact” consists of any contact with the sexual or other intimate parts of a person with the objective of sexual gratification.

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