New York Penal Law 130.52 - Interpretation

In People v. Nuruzzaman, 8 Misc 3d 356, 797 NYS2d 728 (Crim Ct, NY County, 2005), it was alleged that the defendant approached the complainant and placed his hand on and patted her buttocks. When the complainant moved away from the defendant, the defendant allegedly repeated those acts. It was alleged that defendant's actions were intended to degrade or abuse the complainant, were done intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, and without her consent. In Nuruzzaman, (supra, 8 Misc 3d 356 2005), the court held that the repeated placing of that defendant's hand on and his patting of the complainant's buttocks did not constitute the type of force envisioned by the Legislature when it enacted the statute and provided, as included examples, the acts of "squeezing, grabbing or pinching" (Penal Law 130.52). The court cited dictionary definitions of "forcible," "squeeze," "grab" and "pinch" in contrast to "patting," and referred to legislative history in the form of a New York State Senate Memorandum in Support of a 2003 amendment clarifying this law from which it quoted the following: "As evidenced by the despicable sexual assaults committed in New York City's Central Park in recent years, the emergence of such assaults is a disturbing trend that cannot be tolerated. Recognizing these atrocities, the Sexual Assault Reform Act of 2000 . . . created the new crime of forcible touching, which, in pertinent part, criminalized the non-consensual squeezing, grabbing or pinching of the intimate parts of another." (8 Misc 3d at 358.)