Former Manhattan prosecutors
specializing in criminal defense and
civil rights in state and federal courts.

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Arrests in NYC Nightclubs and Bars, Part 3 (Rape and Sex Crimes)

Posted By Galluzzo & Arnone || 5-Feb-2016

One of the great things about living in (and visiting) New York City is the amazing nightlife. The city is home to some of the best nightclubs and bars in the world, including places in the Meatpacking District like Tenjune, 1Oak, The Griffin, Gaslight, Beaumarchais, the Standard (The Top of the Standard and Le Bain), as well as other clubs throughout Manhattan, such as Lavo, Santos Party House, Provocateur, Output, the Jane Hotel, Mehanata, Verboten, Cielo, Webster Hall, the Pyramid Club, the 40/40 Club, and the Marquee, among countless others. Unfortunately, arrests for theft, assault, sexual assault, and drugs are common at these sorts of establishments, and some unfortunate people are saddled with more than just a hangover after a night partying at these places.

The attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP have represented dozens of people arrested at nightclubs and bars throughout the city, and our experience as prosecutors and defense attorneys has taught us that certain types of cases are quite common. Through our experience on both sides we have also learned that these types of cases present unique challenges and opportunities for defense attorneys, and have learned how to best take advantage of the unique circumstances that these cases often present.

Flirtation and sexual contact is obviously common at NYC nightclubs; indeed, for many people, it is sort of the point of going to a club. Alcohol and drugs, however, can cause people to misunderstand communications or make poor decisions that result in criminal arrests for sexual assault or rape. Misdemeanor arrests for Forcible Touching (Penal Law 130.52) or Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree (Penal Law 130.55) are often applied in cases of unwanted sexual touching or grabbing or grinding, and can have serious permanent consequences like sex offender registration or prison. The more serious charge of Rape in the First Degree (Penal Law 130.35) obviously carries serious jail penalties and applies in cases in which the sexual intercourse is accomplished “by forcible compulsion” or with someone that was “incapable of consent” by virtue of intoxication, for example.

The truth is that these cases can be especially difficult for prosecutors to prove when they originate in nightclubs. Witnesses are frequently intoxicated and sometimes it is unclear whether or not consent was ever communicated to the alleged perpetrator. Moreover, DNA evidence is rarely obtained by virtue of the location of the alleged crime or the degree of intoxication of the alleged victim. Our attorneys have been successful in getting criminal charges for rape and sexual assault (at nightclubs and bars) dismissed. We have been able to obtain video footage or eyewitness testimony that contradicts or undermines complainants’ accounts about consent, and proffer to prosecutors our alternative versions of events that demonstrated our clients’ innocence.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or issued a Desk Appearance Ticket in connection with an alleged rape or sexual assault that occurred at a nightclub or bar in New York City, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP. Their three attorneys were all former Manhattan prosecutors that used to investigate and prosecute crimes like these, and they have had considerable success getting rape and sexual assault charges dismissed for clients in cases originating in nightclubs and bars. In particular, Matthew Galluzzo is a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor whose opinion and expertise on rape and sexual assault investigations has been routinely sought by journalists and news media outlets like the New York Daily News, BBC, Fox TV, Reuters, the New York Times, NPR, and others.