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Sexual Assault

Las Vegas Sex Crimes Attorney Unveils Sexual Assault Charge in Nevada (NRS 200.366)

Las Vegas sexual assault (rape) lawyerSexual assault carries some of the most serious penalties of any crime in Nevada. Sometimes sexual assault is also referred to as rape or sexual battery. Like other felony convictions, a Las Vegas sexual assault conviction can make it difficult to find employment later and can impact other civil rights. Additionally, it carries the risk of registering as a sex offender in a national database. Having your name on this list can haunt you in anything you want to do.

If you have been arrested for sexual assault, you need Nick Wooldridge – one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Las Vegas – to handle your case. Contact LV Criminal Defense to begin your defense and work to minimize the damage to your life.

Nevada Legal Definition of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is commonly understood to be rape, and that understanding does match Nevada law. The technical definition is a sexual penetration of:

  • the defendant; or
  • by the defendant

On a person who:

  • does not consent; or
  • the defendant knows cannot consent or resist either because
  • he or she is physically or mentally unable to do so.

Even if penetration does not occur, any unwanted sexual touching may still be charged as the Nevada crime of open and gross lewdness.

Lack of consent is key to the Nevada crime of sexual assault

Just because the other person doesn’t say “no,” does not mean you have consent.

A “no”- lack of consent- can be shown in many ways, such as:

  • the victim resists the defendant’s actions;
  • a person is too young to give consent;
  • the victim is too drunk or high to say yes or no; or
  • any other factors that suggest the victim did not consent.

How common is sexual assault cases in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Accusations of rape and sexual assault are very common in the state of Nevada.  In 2015, an estimated 1,547 rapes or sexual assaults were reported in the state over the course of the year, according to FBI statistics. Statistics from Nevada’s annual report indicate there were 1,686 attempted rapes committed during the course of that same year.

Many rapes and sexual assaults go unreported, so it is likely that the total number of assaults was larger than the statistics show.

Research from the Department of Criminal Justice at the College of Urban Affairs indicates that the “rape rate in Nevada has been consistently higher than national rates over time,” although the majority of sex crimes in Nevada are not forcible rape but instead are essentially victimless crimes including prostitution offenses.

The Department of Criminal Justice at the College of Urban Affairs also indicates that many rapes which are reported to the police in Nevada do not ultimately result in a defendant being arrested. Approximately 21 percent of reported rapes are cleared by an arrest, and adult males are the individuals who are most likely to be arrested for rape when arrests do occur.

What is the penalty for sexual assault in Nevada?

A rape in Nevada carries the highest felony classification, Category A. The actual punishment for the felony depends on three things:

  • the age of the victim;
  • whether there was an substantial bodily harm to the victim; and
  • whether the defendant has prior convictions for sexual assault.

Victims- Adults over the age of 16

Rape is punished by life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years in the Nevada prison. If there is substantial bodily injury to the victim, parole cannot be granted until 15 years have been served in prison.

Victims who are 14 or 15 years of age

Involvement of an alleged victim between 14 and 15 years at the time of the assault brings the penalty to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years have been served. If the victim claims substantial bodily injury, the penalty increases to life without parole.

Victims under the age of 14

If the alleged victim is under the age of 14, the Nevada crime of sexual assault is punishable by life a Nevada prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years served.There is no possibility of parole for sexual assault of a victim under the age of 14 if the victim suffered substantial bodily harm.

Enhanced penalties for the Nevada crime of sexual assault

If you are convicted of a second sexual assault, the judge can sentence you to much longer prison times.

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Sexual assault and domestic violence

When many people think of sexual assault, they think of a stranger perpetrating a crime on a victim or an adult perpetrating a crime on a child. However, many instances of sexual assault occur among people who know each other. In fact, sexual assault often occurs within the context of romantic relationships and can be a form of domestic violence.

Just because an individual is in a relationship with someone does not give that individual the right to coerce or force sexual behavior or to engage in unwanted sexual conduct. It is a myth that a husband cannot rape his wife, and in, fact spouses can be guilty of sexual assault if they force a partner to engage in sexual behavior without affirmative consent.

The fact that someone consented to sexual conduct in the past also does not give an individual the right to force or compel sexual conduct in the future. In fact, consent can be withdrawn at any time during a sexual interaction and refusal to comply with the request of a partner to stop the behavior can constitute criminal activity.

A defendant can sometimes be tried for domestic violence offenses even without the active cooperation of the victim if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a case – and this is true of sexual assault along with other types of domestic violence. If there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed sexual assault, the defendant can be convicted even if the victim is a spouse who has not asked a prosecutor to pursue the assault case.

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Defendants who are accused of sexual assault by a spouse or a romantic partner could face other charges associated with domestic violence, depending upon the conduct of the defendant. Victims could also pursue a restraining order in family court, which may result in a defendant being ordered to leave a family home, end contact with a partner, and stay a certain distance away from a partner. Accusations of domestic violence, including those connected with sexual assault, can also affect custody proceedings in a divorce or a separation.

Claims made by a partner of sexual assault need to be taken seriously and responded to assertively. An experienced rape defense attorney at LV Criminal Defense can provide the necessary representation as you respond to accusations of unwanted sexual contact or other types of domestic violence within a romantic relationship.

Time limits on sexual assault charges in Las Vegas

Sexual assault charges must be brought within twenty years. For victims under the age of 21, the case can still likely proceed if they report a crime that happened as a child by the time they turn 21, or even 28 if they did not learn of the assault until they were an adult.

Physical evidence gets destroyed and memories fade over such a long period of time. The prosecution still has to prove the assault happened beyond a reasonable doubt. Weak evidence is a defense to your case when the alleged victim did not come forward right away.

If the evidence is weak, the charge may be reduced to simple battery, which means that there is probably no requirement to register as a sex offender.

Sexual Assault (Rape) Resources in Nevada

LVMPD – Sexual Assault
400 S. Martin L. King Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89106
702-828-3111

Rape Crisis Center

801 S. Rancho Drive, Ste. B-2
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 366-1640

University of Nevada (Las Vegas) – Sexual Assault prevention
4505 S Maryland Pkwy,
Las Vegas, NV 89154
702-895-3011

Sexual Assault Attorneys in Las Vegas

Sexual assault (rape) is punished severely in Nevada. If you have been arrested for rape in Las Vegas, call an aggressive and experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. You must protect your rights.

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