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Defendants Allege Lack of Jurisdiction in Rape Case

Two women were working at a taco restaurant. Two men came in and held up the restaurant. At gunpoint, the two men took the two women employees to their car in the parking lot. They made the women ride in their car. They drove them to a dead end road in the next county and there they raped and sexually abused the two women.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that even while in the car, while they were still on the road going to the next county, one of the men pointed the gun in his possession at the women and fondled their breasts.

They were charged and convicted of robbery in the first degree, two counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of kidnapping in the second degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

The two men appealed their convictions. They argue that they cannot be charged and found guilty of rape in Nassau County when the rapes occurred in Suffolk County.

The Court dismissed this contention of the two men. The Court held that it is sufficient for even if just one element of the crime of rape took place in Nassau County charges of rape may be brought against them in Nassau County.

The duty to prove that one of the elements of rape was committed within the territorial jurisdiction of Nassau County falls on the district attorney. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the crime of rape occurs when a man engages in sexual intercourse with a woman by compelling her through force. Forcible compulsion is a physical force that can overcome earnest resistance. An express of implied threat that made the women fear immediate death or serious physical injury to themselves or to another person is forcible compulsion.

These elements of the rape occurred in Nassau County when at gunpoint the men took the women and made them ride in the car. It occurred when the men at gunpoint threatened to kill the women and their families if they reported the rape to the police. The men fondled the women’s private parts. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that lmost all of the elements of crime took place at Nassau County and continued uninterrupted all the way to Suffolk County. Thus, the territorial jurisdiction of Nassau County to bring the charge of rape in Nassau County was proved. The charges were properly brought.

It was also proved that when the two men took the women at gunpoint from the taco restaurant, they intended fully well to rape the women. When they forced them at gunpoint to ride in their car, they intended to rape them. When in the car as they were on the road, the men threatened the women they had the intent to rape them. When at gunpoint in the car and the men fondled the women’s breasts, they intent to rape the women was present. Thus, a New York Drug Possession Lawyer explained, the specific intent of rape was present even while they were in Nassau County and continued uninterrupted until they reached Suffolk County.

On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the convictions for two counts of kidnapping in the second degree and dismissed the kidnapping charge but all the other convictions were upheld and affirmed.

The Court held that the two men cannot be convicted separately for kidnapping because the kidnapping of the two women were actually not a separate crime but became one of the elements of the crime of rape. The kidnapping was incidental to the rape and it was the means by which forcible compulsion of the women could be accomplished.

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