Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz today announced the Assembly has passed legislation to redefine the state’s rape statutes to ensure that victims of nonconsensual sexual conduct are able to seek more appropriate justice.
“For years, the Assembly has fought to make this legislation the law of the land in New York,” said Speaker Heastie. “It is past time that our laws ensure that all forms of rape are treated as the very serious and traumatizing crime that they are, and that perpetrators of such horrific violence are charged accordingly.”
“Today’s passage marks the 10th time that the Assembly has passed this legislation – justice for these survivors is long overdue,” said Assemblymember Cruz. “When these brave individuals relive their painful experience in court, they deserve to know that they have the full weight of the law behind them. It is simply unacceptable that our laws treat these horrendous acts as anything less than rape. I am proud to carry this legislation that would help survivors receive justice and ensure perpetrators are held accountable.”
Today’s legislation would remove the requirement of penetration from the definition of sexual intercourse for the purposes of New York’s rape statutes, and redefine rape to include nonconsensual vaginal sexual contact, oral sexual contact and anal sexual contact, which are currently prosecuted as criminal sexual acts (A.6319-A, Cruz).