LAWS OF NEW YORK, 1998
CHAPTER 381
Kathy's Law


EXPLANATION—Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is
old law to be omitted.

LAWS OF NEW YORK, 1998
CHAPTER 381


AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of
endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person

Became a law July 14, 1998, with the approval of the Governor.
Passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. The article heading of article 260 of the penal law is
amended to read as follows:
OFFENSES RELATING TO CHILDREN
[AND INCOMPETENTS ], DISABLED PERSONS AND
VULNERABLE ELDERLY PERSONS
§ 2. Section 260.25 of the penal law is amended to read as follows:
§ 260.25 Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disa-
bled person.
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or
physically disabled person when he knowingly acts in a manner likely to
be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is
unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability,
mental disease or defect.
Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled
person is a class A misdemeanor.
§ 3. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 260.30 to read
as follows:
§ 260.30 Vulnerable elderly persons; definitions.
For the purpose of sections 260.32 and 260.34 of this article, the
following definitions shall apply:
1. "Caregiver" means a person who (i) assumes responsibility for the
care of a vulnerable elderly person pursuant to a court order; or (ii)
receives monetary or other valuable consideration for providing care for
a vulnerable elderly person.
2. "Sexual contact" means any touching of the sexual or other intimate
parts of a person not married to the actor for the purpose of gratifying
sexual desire of either party. It includes the touching of the actor by
the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether
directly or through clothing.
3. "Vulnerable elderly person" means a person sixty years of age or
older who is suffering from a disease or infirmity associated with
advanced age and manifested by demonstrable physical, mental or
emotional dysfunction to the extent that the person is incapable of
adequately providing for his or her own health or personal care.
§ 4. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 260.32 to read
as follows:
§ 260.32 Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the
second degree.

A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly
person in the second degree when, being a caregiver for a vulnerable
elderly person:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to such person, he or she
causes such injury to such person; or
2. He or she recklessly causes physical injury to such person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he or she causes physical injury to such
person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or
4. He or she subjects such person to sexual contact without the
latter's consent. Lack of consent under this subdivision results from
forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent, as those terms are defined
in article one hundred thirty of this chapter, or any other circum-
stances in which the vulnerable elderly person does not expressly or
impliedly acquiesce in the caregiver's conduct. In any prosecution under
this subdivision in which the victim's alleged lack of consent results
solely from incapacity to consent because of the victim's mental defect
or mental incapacity, the provisions of section 130.16 of this chapter
shall apply. In addition, in any prosecution under this subdivision in
which the victim's lack of consent is based solely upon his or her inca-
pacity to consent because he or she was mentally defective, mentally
incapacitated or physically helpless, it is an affirmative defense that
the defendant, at the time he or she engaged in the conduct constituting
the offense, did not know of the facts or conditions responsible for
such incapacity to consent.
Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the second
degree is a class E felony.
§ 5. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 260.34 to read
as follows:
§ 260.34 Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the
first degree.
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly
person in the first degree when, being a caregiver for a vulnerable
elderly person:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to such person, he or she
causes serious physical injury to such person; or
2. He or she recklessly causes serious physical injury to such person.
Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the first
degree is a class D felony.
§ 6. This act shall take effect November 1, 1998.

The Legislature of the STATE OF NEW YORK ss:
Pursuant to the authority vested in us by section 70-b of the Public
Officers Law, we hereby jointly certify that this slip copy of this
session law was printed under our direction and, in accordance with such
section, is entitled to be read into evidence.

JOSEPH L. BRUNO SHELDON SILVER
Temporary President of the Senate Speaker of the Assembly

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