Does The Age Of A Person Charged With Statutory Rape Impact The Criminal Charges?
The age of the person charged with statutory rape has a big impact on the criminal charges. Generally speaking, the larger the gap in age, the more serious the case is going to be viewed. It is relatively common for an 18 or 19-year-old to have a dating relationship with a 14 or 15-year-old; this age gap between individuals in a relationship is seen throughout the U.S. and largely throughout life cycles. Consider, for example, how common it is for a 50-year-old person to be in a relationship with a 55-year-old, or a 67-year-old to be in a relationship with a 72-year-old; the older we become, the less that difference in age is seen as a relevant factor.
However, when dealing with child sex crimes—whether statutory rape, lewdness with a minor, or child sexual assault—the age of the perpetrator becomes critically important. When it’s a kid playing doctor with another kid, the conversation to be had might not even be a criminal one; it might be a civil proceeding in a delinquency court run by a family judge, where the ends and objectives are entirely different than those in a criminal court. Generally speaking, the younger the offender and the closer in age that offender is to the party who is abused, the lesser the amount of warranted or justified punishment.
The statute provides a range of penalties, within which there is some wiggle room. In Nevada, the penalty for statutory rape by an individual who is outside of the age range by a large margin and has a prior sex conviction of any kind is a B felony carrying one to 10 years in prison. For example, a 30-year-old who commits statutory rape of a 14 or 15-year-old would probably receive a B felony and a prison sentence of anywhere between four and 10 years. A 20-year-old in the same situation would be more likely to receive a gross misdemeanor, which carries a maximum punishment of 364 days in jail.
Oftentimes, probation in lieu of a prison sentence will be available for an individual who has no prior criminal record and has committed a first-time offense of statutory sexual seduction. Individuals who are 21 and older are going to be treated differently than people who are 21 and under due to the fact that the culpability of individuals over age 21 is seen to be greater; they are perceived to have more life experience, and for better or worse, they are presumed to have a better idea of the wrongfulness of their behavior.
I Was Charged With Statutory Rape But The Sex Was Consensual; Is This Lawful?
The age of consent in any state of the union is a hard and fast rule. Many people criticize the arbitrariness of certain age requirements under the law, such as those to drive, vote, or drink alcohol. The age of consent often gets grouped in with these criticisms, but it nonetheless stands under the law; even if a minor under the age of consent “consents” to a sexual act, it is not legal consent. This means that even if a minor were to beg and plead an adult to engage in sex with them, it would have no impact whatsoever; the adult’s legal obligation would be to refuse the advances of that person.
Can A Sex Offense Conviction Involving Age Of Consent Be Removed From My Criminal Record?
It is extremely critical for people to understand that sex crime convictions—especially those involving children—are not eligible to be sealed in the state of Nevada. By virtue of Nevada Revised Statute 179D and the sex offender registration scheme, these convictions are prohibited from being expunged or sealed; once a child sex offender, always a child sex offender.
This can place a rather burdensome set of circumstances on an individual. We’ve had clients who streaked when they were in college, and other clients who had freshman girlfriends when they were seniors; since the parents didn’t like it, they reported it and our clients were forced to register as sex offenders. In some cases, we were able to relieve clients of that obligation based on the nature of the offenses.
More often than not, there is no amount of legal maneuvering that will result in the removal of a child sex conviction from the record or prevent an individual from lifetime sex offender registration. Whereas the criminal penalties in terms of exposure to prison time are bad, sex offender registration is like a gift that keeps on giving; it continues to punish the offender long after the prison stay is over.
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