According to NRS 200.3661, a person is guilty of sexual assault in Nevada if they subject another person to sexual penetration or force another person to make a sexual penetration on his/herself, or on a beast, against the will of the victim – or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows (or should know) that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of their conduct (i.e., blacked out drunk or drugged.)

The same law also describes the crime as when someone commits a sexual penetration upon a child under the age of 14 years old or causes the child to make a sexual penetration on themselves or another person, or a beast. Here’s everything you should know.

sexual assault victim telling an attorney what happened

Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault

A person found guilty of sexual assault in Nevada is considered to have committed a Category A Felony and shall be punished by the law accordingly. If substantial bodily harm to the victim resulted from the actions of the crime, the perpetrator could be sent to state prison for life without the possibility of parole or life with the possibility of parole after 15 years, depending on the specifics of the case.

If no substantial bodily harm to the victim resulted from the crime, the perpetrator may be imprisoned in state prison for life with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault on Minors

If the victim is under 16 years old, the penalties change. If the crime resulted in the child having substantial bodily harm, the perpetrator may be given a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

If the victim is under 16 years old and the crime did not result in the child having substantial bodily harm, the perpetrator may be given a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years have been served.

If the victim is under 14 years old, the penalties change again and become even more severe. Generally speaking, the younger the victim was, the less forgiving the laws become. Penalties also vary when there was incest involved, lewdness with a child, sado-masochism or luring a child using a computer.

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Registering As a Sex Offender

Nevada has an official Sex Offender Registry, which is a database of people who have been convicted of certain sex offenses or a crime against a child. The classification system in Nevada is divided into three categories:

  • Tier III Offenders: people who committed violent sex crimes and non-parental kidnapping, as well as people who committed serious crimes against children. These people must register every 90 days for the rest of their life, and their identity is able to be searched for in the registry by the public.
  • Tier II Offenders: people who committed lesser crimes against children. These people must register every 6 months for 25 years, and their identity is able to be searched for in the registry by the public.
  • Tier I Offenders: any lesser crime than those found in Tiers II and III. These people must register every year for 15 years, but their identity is not able to be searched for by the public unless the victim is a child.

If an offender fails to register in the database, this is considered a separate crime, as per NRS 179D.5502, and carries with it a sentence of prison time, so it is a very serious crime.

registering as a sex offender

Examples of Different Tiers of Sex Crimes

To further help illuminate the differences between certain sex crimes, here are some examples of crimes in each tier:

Tier III Sex Offences

  • 1st-degree murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual molestation of a child under 14 years of age
  • Battery with the intent to commit sexual assault
  • Sexual assault (rape)
  • Child abuse involving sexual abuse or exploitation of a child 12 years of age or younger
  • Kidnapping, unless the offender is the parent/guardian of the victim
  • Incest with a victim under 16
  • Lewdness with a child under 14
  • Statutory sexual seduction (i.e., statutory rape) when the dependent is at least 21
  • Other severe crimes or conspiracies to commit any of the above crimes

Tier II Sex Offences

  • Luring a victim under 18 years old
  • Child abuse involving sexual abuse or exploitation of a child between 13-18
  • Sex trafficking
  • Child pornography including using a child to produce pornography, promoting a sexual performance of a child, advertising or distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography, controlling the internet to watch child pornography
  • False imprisonment of a child (unless the defendant is the child’s parent or guardian)
  • Involuntary servitude of a child (unless the defendant is the child’s parent or guardian)
  • Incest if the victim is 16 or 17
  • Lewdness if the victim is 14 or 15
  • Sexual conduct between school employees and pupils
  • Other related crimes or conspiracies to commit any of the above crimes

Tier I Sex Offences

  • Open or gross lewdness
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual penetration of a human corpse
  • Statutory sexual seduction if the defendant is under 21 years old
  • Administering drugs to someone coupled with a violent sexual crime
  • Administering drugs to someone coupled with a sexual felony
  • Any offense that contains an element of sex
  • Coercion, if sexually motivated
  • Kidnapping in 1st or 2nd degree, if sexually motivated
  • False imprisonment in 1st or 2nd degree, if sexually motivated
  • Burglary, if sexually motivated
  • Other related crimes or conspiracies to commit any of the above crimes
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Being Removed from the Registry

The details are specific to the offender’s case and often involve him/her having registered continually for a decade or more. Generally speaking, the defendant needs to have not been convicted of another felony or any other sex crime – and they also need to have completed the necessary period of supervised release, probation, or parole – and they need to have completed a sex offender treatment program.

Again, this early termination of registering does not occur until they have been registered for a long period of time, usually 10+ years without skipping registrations. And, certain crimes are never available for early termination; the perpetrator will be required to register for the rest of their life.

Attorney filling out papers to have client removed from registry

Tourists and the Registry

Living in a tourist town, one might wonder if sex offenders can visit Las Vegas without registering. That is not the case; a sex offender from any state must register with local law enforcement in Las Vegas within 48 hours of their arrival.

Record Sealing For Sex Offenders

Although the majority of crimes committed in Nevada are able to be sealed after a certain amount of time, there are a handful of crimes that are legally NEVER able to be sealed. Those crimes include sex crimes, crimes against children, invasion of the home with a deadly weapon and felony DUIs.

To learn more about Nevada laws regarding rape and sexual assault, contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation.

Sources:

1NRS 200.366

2NRS 179D.550