There seems to be a lot confusion over the new bill regarding subway sexual abuse. Forcible touching was already a misdemeanor crime in the state of New York under Section 130.52 of the penal law. The new statute, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Queens) and passed by the state legislature on Thursday, amends the existing law by expanding on what forcible touching means and increasing the penalties against it.
Forcible touching now includes a action that “subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire and with intent to degrade or abuse such other person” while that person is a passenger on a state-authorized or affiliated car, bus or train. In other words, forcible touching now includes rubbing against someone, making them rub against on you, and ejaculating on someone.
And, if caught, the perp could face more time behind bars. Currently, a forcible touching offense carries a maximum sentence of 90 days imprisonment or one year of probation for the first offense. The new legislation raises the maximum sentence for first time offenders to one year imprisonment or three years’ probation.
“Grinding or ejaculating on a victim is a disgusting act that violates not only the individual but all of us who ride the subway, said Simotas in a statement released to ANIMAL. “The law must reflect that these crimes on public transportation are particularly egregious because riders are essentially captives of their attackers.”
Assuming Gov. Cuomo signs the law, it will go into effect November 1.