People v. Thompson
New York Court of Appeals
530 N.E.2d 839 (1988)
Thompson (defendant) and the victim were both inmates at the Albany County Jail. The victim, a 16-year-old male, had been in the jail less than three weeks, awaiting disposition of charges. The victim occupied a cell in a tier of the jail reserved for unsentenced juveniles. The juvenile tier was separated from the rest of the jail by a set of bars and a locked gate guarded by a correction officer. Adult inmates were prohibited from entering the juvenile tier. Thompson, a 35-year-old male, occupied a cell in one of the adult tiers. Thompson and the victim had spoken on three occasions prior to the incident, twice in the mess hall and once near the weight-lifting room, at which time Thompson demonstrated his strength by lifting the victim over his head. On August 6, 1981, Thompson asked the correction officer on guard that he be permitted to enter the juvenile tier. Thompson was granted access despite the prohibition against adults entering the juvenile tier. Thompson called to the victim through the set of bars separating the juvenile tier and then asked the victim to perform an act of oral sex. When the victim refused, Thompson made a series of threats, stating that he would beat up the victim if he did not perform, that he could get someone else to beat up the victim, even someone on the juvenile tier, and that the beating could take place anywhere and at any time. The victim complied and submitted to various acts of sodomy. Thompson and the victim were separated by the bars during the entire incident. The victim reported the incident to officials. Thompson was indicted and later convicted of first-degree sodomy. Thompson appealed on the grounds that his threats did not rise to the level of forcible compulsion, because the threats were not capable of immediately being carried out.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wachtler, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 706,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 706,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,400 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.