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People v. Gowdy, 2013 NY Slip Op 50263(U),


Forcible touching in New York refers to the act of intentionally and forcibly touching another person’s intimate parts without their consent. This offense is addressed under New York Penal Law Section 130.52. Under this statute, a person commits forcible touching when they intentionally touch another person’s intimate parts, such as their genitals, buttocks, or female breasts, for the purpose of gratifying their own sexual desire or to degrade or abuse the victim. The touch must be done forcibly and without the consent of the other person. Forcible touching isĀ  a sex crime and is a misdemeanor in New York.

Force can be physical or non-physical, such as threats or coercion, and it must be used to overcome the other person’s resistance or to prevent them from resisting the touching. Like with any sex crime, consent is a crucial factor in determining whether an act of touching constitutes forcible touching, and the absence of consent is a key element in establishing guilt under this statute.

Background Facts
The defendant was convicted of forcible touching for reaching under the victim’s clothing and rubbing his hand up and down the split of her buttocks. Despite the defendant’s arguments that his actions were less forcible than other proscribed acts listed under the statute, the jury determined otherwise. Additionally, the defendant was convicted of exposure of a person for exposing himself in an office cubicle, which was visible to the entrance area and accessible to numerous employees.

The main issue in this case was whether the defendant’s actions constituted forcible touching and exposure of a person as defined by the relevant statutes.

The court upheld the defendant’s convictions, finding that the evidence presented during the trial supported the jury’s verdict. Despite the defendant’s arguments to the contrary, the court determined that the touching was indeed forcible and that the location where the exposure occurred qualified as a public place under the law.

During the trial, the court carefully examined the defendant’s actions to determine if they met the criteria outlined in the relevant statutes. The jury concluded that the defendant’s conduct, including reaching under the victim’s clothing and touching her buttocks, constituted forcible touching as defined by the law. Despite the defendant’s assertions that his actions were less forceful compared to other prohibited acts, the court disagreed, affirming the jury’s determination.

Similarly, the court evaluated the location where the exposure occurred to determine if it met the legal definition of a public place. The defendant argued that the office cubicle where the incident took place was not sufficiently public to constitute a violation of the exposure of a person offense. However, the court disagreed and ruled that the cubicle, visible to the entrance area and accessible to numerous employees, qualified as a public place under the law.

In response to the defendant’s challenges regarding the sufficiency of the evidence and the interpretation of the statutes, the court found no merit in these arguments. The evidence presented during the trial was deemed adequate to support the jury’s verdict, and the court’s interpretation of the relevant statutes was upheld.

Overall, the court’s decision affirmed the convictions of the defendant for forcible touching and exposure of a person, highlighting the importance of adhering to the legal definitions and requirements outlined in the statutes. This case serves as an example of the judiciary’s role in carefully evaluating evidence and applying the law to ensure justice is served.

The court’s decision to uphold the defendant’s convictions underscores the importance of evidence and legal interpretation in criminal cases. Despite the defendant’s challenges, the jury’s verdict was supported by the evidence presented during the trial, leading to the affirmation of the convictions for forcible touching and exposure of a person. This case serves as a reminder of the legal principles guiding criminal prosecutions and the role of the judiciary in ensuring justice is served.

If you or someone you know is charged with forcible touching, indecent exposure, or any other sex crime, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance from an experienced New York sex crime lawyer. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates for expert legal representation and guidance through the complexities of the legal process.

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