Statutory sexual seduction is a serious crime in the State of Nevada. Here’s everything you need to know from our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at Half Price Lawyers.
What Is Statutory Sexual Seduction?
Statutory sexual seduction is also sometimes referred to as “statutory rape.” In Nevada, if an individual is over 18 years old and has any sexual penetration with a minor who is 14 or 15 and at least four years younger than the perpetrator, the crime is considered statutory sexual seduction.
Note: Nevada’s age of consent is 16 years old.
NRS 200.3681 states that the statutory rape crime is a felony if the perpetrator is at least 21 years old or has previous sexual crime convictions. If the perpetrator is 18-20 without previous sexual crime convictions, they are guilty of a gross misdemeanor. In either case, they will be required by law to register as a sex offender.
What You Should Know About NRS 200.368
This set of laws is different than other laws regarding crimes because even if both parties consent to the sex or even if it was the minor who initiated the sex, a crime was still committed, and legal consequences can still be had.
Note: In Nevada, statutory rape is considered a strict liability crime.
That means that a defendant may be convicted and found guilty of statutory rape even if they were under the impression the victim was old enough to consent (either because the victim lied or had a fake ID.)
Yes, that’s correct. Even if the victim had an ID that said they were older, it does not matter. Under Nevada law, it does not make a difference if the victim lied or not. If they were underage, the defendant could be found guilty.
Four Main Elements of Statutory Rape
As per Nevada law, there are four main elements of statutory rape:
- The sex that was had between the defendant and the victim was penetrative (i.e., vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, penetration with fingers or objects.) If the sex was not penetrative, the charge may be sexual abuse or lewdness with a child.
- The defendant is at least 18 years old.
- The victim is 14 or 15 years old and –
- The defendant is at least four years older than the victim (this rule is in place due to what is sometimes called a “Romeo and Juliet” exception, meaning if a young couple has consensual sex – for example, someone who is 18 and someone who is 15 – they aren’t considering as having committed a crime because they were close in age, even though one of them was technically a minor.)
Penalties for Statutory Sexual Seduction
As per NRS 200.368, the legal penalties for statutory sexual seduction depend upon the age of the defendant:
- If the defendant is 21 or older and convicted of statutory rape, they face a Category B Felony with 1-10 years in a Nevada State Prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- If the defendant is under 21 and has no previous sex crime convictions on their record, the crime is a gross misdemeanor, and they could face up to 365 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- If the defendant is under 21 and does have a prior sex crime conviction on their record, they are facing a Category D Felony and 1-4 years in prison along with up to $5,000 in fines.
Common Defenses Against Statutory Rape
Some of the common defenses that attorneys use to help their clients defend themselves against statutory rape are:
- The defendant is being falsely accused.
- No penetration occurred.
- The victim was old enough to consent.
- There is a lack of evidence for a conviction.
Can the Record be Sealed?
If the charge gets dismissed, the defendant can seal the record right away, regardless of whether the charge was a gross misdemeanor or a felony.
If found guilty, gross misdemeanor convictions of statutory sexual seduction may be sealed two years after the case ends.
If found guilty of a felony conviction, that conviction can never be sealed.
Statutory rape is a deportable offense. Non-citizens run the risk of deportation.
In Nevada, it is illegal for school employees and pupils to have sex. If the pupil is at least 16 years old, the employee could be charged with a Category C Felony and imprisoned for 1-5 years and given up to $10,000 in fines.
Incest charges are different than other sexual charges. Incest occurs when relatives that are closer than second cousins (or cousins by half-blood) are married or have sex – regardless of whether or not the sex is consensual. This crime is considered a Category A Felony in Nevada and is punishable by 2 years – life in prison, with up to $10,000 in fines.
Seeking Legal Representation for Statutory Sexual Seduction
If you need legal guidance on statutory sexual seduction laws and defenses, considering working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you gather evidence and prepare a strong legal defense. Contact our attorneys at Half Price Lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation.