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Governor Signs “Rape is Rape” Bill Into Law


Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed legislation to modernize New York State law to protect survivors of rape and hold perpetrators accountable for sexual assault. The legislation updates the definition of rape in the penal code to ensure that additional forms of nonconsensual, forced sexual conduct can be prosecuted as rape.

“We are reassuring survivors that when they walk into a police station or approach the witness stand that the full weight of the law is behind them now going forward,” Governor Hochul said. “Rape will be treated like the horrific crime that it is. The voices have been heard, and we affirm that justice will be served.”

The “Rape is Rape” bill removes the penetration requirement from the rape statutes and also defines rape as vaginal sexual contact, oral sexual contact, and anal sexual contact. The existing statute excluded oral and anal rape from being called rape and required a higher standard for vaginal rape. The Governor says by modernizing New York’s rape statutes, this legislation ensures all survivors are protected from these crimes and offenders will be held fully accountable.


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