What Is Statutory Rape Under Nevada State Law?
Under Nevada state law, Revised Statute 200.368, statutory sexual seduction and statutory rape are synonymous. Nevada makes it a crime for there to be any kind of sexual penetration between someone who is over the age of 18 and someone who is under the age of 16. The caveat is that in order for someone to be guilty of statutory sexual seduction in Nevada, the individual over 18 years of age needs to be at least 4 years older than the minor involved. This becomes critical when dealing with cases that involve a high school senior or college freshman who is dating a high school freshman or sophomore. In many situations, the statute doesn’t account for the possibility of these interactions being school romances.
It is important to know that it does not matter who the aggressor is or who initiates the sexual contact. For example, if a 15-year-old girl comes on very strongly to a 20-year-old man and he succumbs to the temptation, he is still criminally liable for his actions, regardless of the fact that the underage female was the one who initiated contact.
Can The Romeo and Juliet Defense Be Used In Nevada?
Nevada does not have a Romeo and Juliet law per se. In essence, this law provides a person who has been charged with statutory sexual seduction or statutory rape with a defense that they’re in a relationship with the minor and close in age (i.e. within the four-year age range) to the minor, and therefore should not be charged with a crime.
While Nevada law does not provide for this defense, it does have an exemption built straight into the law, which essentially says that sexual intercourse between an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old is not considered statutory rape because there is not an age difference of at least four years. Unless the parents of the younger party felt that the consent was brought about by some ill means, most prosecutors would not consider the case to be one of statutory rape.
Who Can Be Prosecuted For Statutory Rape Under Nevada State Law?
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and has penetrative sexual contact with someone who is under the age of consent is theoretically prosecutable for statutory rape. Most often, these cases involve a 14 or 15-year-old with someone who is 19, 20, 21, 22, or 25 years old. There’s a distinction to be drawn here between statutory rape and child sexual assault; statutory rape is generally going to be applied to adults in their twenties who are having sex with 14 and 15-year-old minors.
What Is Considered Lewdness With A Minor Under The Age Of 16?
Lewdness with a minor generally involves non-penetrative sexual contact (i.e. any kind of touching or physical contact that is designed to arouse the sexual passions of either the child or the adult doing the touching). This means that the touching doesn’t have to be on what we would call a private part of the body or a sexual part of the body, and certainly doesn’t need to be a touching of the genitalia; heavy petting could rise to the level of lewdness with a minor.
It is a serious offense that carries some serious consequences, but the consequences associated with child sexual assault (i.e. statutory sexual seduction with a child under the age of 14) are more severe. Some would say that lewdness with a child is the lesser-included of a child sexual assault case. If a case of child sexual assault cannot be made given a certain set of facts, there may at least be a case of lewdness with a minor. Nevada Revised Statute 201.230 makes it illegal for an adult who is over the age of majority to touch a child under the age of 16 with the end goal of arousing the child’s or the adult’s sexual gratification.
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