NRS 217.290 – Summary of the Available Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault

Victims of sexual assault are routinely forced to endure emotional and psychological trauma from the assault. If that was not bad enough, survivors of sexual assault are more susceptible to suffering from depression, alcoholism, suicide, and other health issues.  Other long-term effects of sexual assault include a predilection towards various coping mechanisms (e.g., self-harm, substance abuse, eating disorders). Other reactions to this type of abuse, according to Samuel Merritt University, include the following:

  • dissociation
  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • relationship difficulties
  • withdrawal/isolation
  • paranoia
  • localized pain
  • chronic anxiety
  • poor health
  • sense of helplessness
  • persistent fear
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • sleep disturbances
  • flashbacks

This troubling data is largely why the Nevada legislature enacted NRS 217.290 which makes counseling and other forms of assistance available to sexual assault victims.

Specifically, under NRS 217.480, the board of county commissioners of each county in Nevada is obligated to provide, by ordinance, counseling for victims of sexual assault and any relatives living with the victims. However, a relative is not eligible to receive counseling if the relative committed the sexual assault for which counseling is sought.

Counseling is not compulsory. It may be provided only when requested by the victim or eligible relative.

What is Considered “Sexual Assault” Under Nevada Law?

For the purposes of NRS 217.480, the legal definition of “sexual assault” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 432B.100. This section defines “sexual assault” as, acts upon a child constituting:

  1. Incest under NRS 201.180;
  2. Lewdness with a child under NRS 201.230;
  3. Sado-masochistic abuse under NRS 201.262;
  4. Sexual assault under NRS 200.366;
  5. Statutory sexual seduction under NRS 200.368;
  6. Open or gross lewdness under NRS 201.210; and
  7. Mutilation of the genitalia of a female child, aiding, abetting, encouraging or participating in the mutilation of the genitalia of a female child, or removal of a female child from this State for the purpose of mutilating the genitalia of the child under NRS 200.5083.

Sexual Assault Laws in Nevada – Info You Need to Know

Sexual assault is considered to be virtually any kind of penetrative sex with a person who does not consent or is not capable of consenting (i.e. rape). Specifically, sexual assault occurs when a person subject another person to sexual penetration, or forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast (i.e. an animal), 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 his or her conduct.

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Virtually all types of non-consensual sex involving penetration are prohibited under NRS 200.366, including:

  • anal sex
  • digital sex (“fingering”)
  • inserting body parts or objects in a vagina or anus
  • penetrative sexual acts with an animal
  • vaginal intercourse
  • fellatio
  • cunnilingus
  • anilingus

Non-consensual touching that is sexual in nature, but falls short of actual penetration is not considered to be rape in the specific, statutorily-defined framework. However, in these instances, you could potentially be charged with allegedly engaging in “open and gross lewdness” which is prohibited under NRS 201.210. There is also the criminal offense of “lewdness with a minor” which is prohibited under NRS 201.230, depending on the age of the victim.

Penalties Associated with Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is an extremely serious criminal offense in Nevada. According to NRS 200.366, sexual assault is prosecuted as a category A felony. This means if you or a family member is convicted of committing sexual assault, it may result in you having to serve a life sentence in Nevada State Prison. In addition, you would have to spend the remainder of your days on the sexual offender registration list in Nevada.

Possibility of Parole?

The possibility of parole depends on a series of factors related to your specific case. These factors include:

  • the age of the victim;
  • if the victim sustained substantial bodily harm in Nevada (NRS 0.060); and
  • the defendant’s criminal history

Take Action Now – Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are a family member has been charged with allegedly raping another individual, or allegedly engaging in behavior that another person considered to be sexual assault, now is the time to retain the services of a skilled and respected Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. Your life and liberty are on the line, which is why you owe it to yourself to have the best legal defense possible. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Our legal team will do everything possible to try to get the sexual assault or sexual assault charges dismissed or reduced without having to go to trial. Nevertheless, if the situation calls for a trial, our team of seasoned and skilled trial attorneys are prepared to advocate on your behalf in court.

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