In New York, dating only becomes and issue when it involves the sexual activity of a person under the age of 18. New York's statutory rape laws apply to any person under the age of 18 regardless of gender or the type of sexual act that occurred. Statutory rape is a criminal offense in New York defined as any sexual activity between someone over the age of 18 with someone under the age of 18, with a few exceptions.
In New York, sex between someone over the age of 21 and someone under the age of 17 is considered third-degree rape. Additionally, sex between someone over the age of 18 and under the age of 15 is considered second-degree rape. However, if the parties are less than four years apart in age, there is no crime. Lastly, under New York law it is considered first-degree rape to have sex with someone under the age of 11, regardless of the other person's age. It is also first-degree rape if one person is older than the age of 18 and the other is less than 13 years old.
In New York, the violation also turns on the age of the offender. Under New York criminal law, more strict punishments are attached to older offenders. More specifically, offenders over the age of 21 receive the harshest statutory rape penalty.
For third-degree rape, the penalty is up to four years in prison. For second-degree rape, the penalty is up to seven years in prison and for first-degree rape, the penalty is up to 25 years in prison.