If my 28 year old male neighbor verbally abused my minor daughter with very explicit language, can I press charges?

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If my 28 year old male neighbor verbally abused my minor daughter with very explicit language, can I press charges?

The DA suggested mediation because of previous issues with this neighbor and their family. I’m not sure they would even show up. I need to protect myself and my family. What should I do?

Asked on July 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

"Verbal abuse," even with explicit language is not a crime: people may be nasty, crude, profane, etc. If there were any physical threats, that would different: there are several crimes that actual threats might fall under, such as assault, terroristic threat, endangering the welfare of a child, etc. Or if the neighbor used explicit language not in an angry or profane way, but in a way that would be a sexually explicit conversation, intended to arouse, that could also be a crime. But simple "verbal abuse," no matter how nasty, unfortunately is not a crime.


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