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New York Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Generally, states criminalize sexual acts such as: indecent exposure, sexual assault, prostitution, solicitation, rape, and statutory rape. An individual may be considered a “sex offender” if he or she is convicted of one of these acts, and may then be added to both state and federal sex offender registries.

Most states also have laws prohibiting certain types of consensual sexual activities, although it should be noted that sodomy bans applicable to same-sex partners have been ruled unconstitutional. In New York, prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include: bans on indecent exposure, public lewdness, disorderly conduct, loitering, prostitution, and patronizing a prostitute. If convicted of a sex offense (e.g. sexual misconduct, rape, forcible touching, sexual abuse), the defendant may be compelled to submit to HIV testing at the victim’s request.

Review the following table to learn more about New York's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws, and see FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for related information.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to


Penalty for Sodomy


HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

Crim. Proc. 390.15 Upon request of victim of felony offense enumerated in any section of Pen. 130, the court must order the convicted person to be tested for HIV

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

Pen. 240.20 Disorderly conduct: violation
Pen. 240.35 Loitering: violation
Pen. 245.00 Public lewdness: Class B misdemeanor
Pen. 245.01 Exposure of a person: violation
Pen. 230.00 Prostitution: Class B misdemeanor
Pen. 230.02 Patronizing a Prostitute: Class A misdemeanor, Class E felony or Class D felony, depending on the age of the prostitute

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For additional information on New York’s consensual sexual activity laws, check out the links provided below for access to related resources. You can also find out more about the topic in general by reading Details on State Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws , or browsing FindLaw’s section on sex crimes.  Finally, if you are looking for answers to more specific questions or need legal representation, consider contacting a local criminal defense attorney.

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