Nevada Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

The crime of rape, which is referred to as sexual assault in Nevada, makes it illegal to have sex with someone against his or her will, or with someone that you should have known lacked the capacity to consent to or to understand what was happening. Other sex crimes that involve unwanted and offensive touching that fall short of sexual assault (for example, pinching someone's butt) may qualify as the lesser crime of open and gross lewdness in Nevada.

The following chart outlines the main aspects of Nevada's sexual assault laws.

Code Section

Nevada Revised Statutes section 200.366: Sexual Assault (Rape)

What's Prohibited?

Subjecting another person to sexual penetration, or forcing another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself, on another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions which the offender knows (or should know) that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct.

Penalties

Class A felony. Punishable by life in prison. Depending on certain factors (such as the age of the victim, whether or not the victim incurred substantial bodily harm, and whether the offender has previously been convicted of a sexual assault against a child) the offender may or may not be eligible for parole.

Sexual Assault by a Spouse

 

It isn't a defense to a sexual assault charge that the offender was married to the victim at the time of the offense.

Statutory Sexual Seduction (Statutory Rape)

The separate but related crime of statutory sexual seduction occurs when an adult (someone who is 18 years old or older) engages in sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, or fellatio with a person under the age of 16. The key difference between sexual assault and statutory sexual seduction is consent.

In Nevada, the age of consent is 16, so anyone who is less than 16 years old isn't legally capable of consenting to sexual intercourse. In some other states statutory sexual seduction is referred to as statutory rape. An offender convicted of statutory sexual seduction is charged will a Class C felony if they are 21 years old or older, and with a gross misdemeanor if they are under 21.

Sex Offender Registry

In Nevada, a "sex offender" is defined as any person who has been convicted of one of the sexual offenses listed in section 179D.097 since July 1, 1956, or was adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court of a sexual offense listed in section 62F.200 if the offender was at least 14 years old at the time of the offense. Sexual assault is named on both of these lists. Therefore, offenders who have been convicted of sexual assault must register with a local law enforcement agency in Nevada. For additional information visit the Nevada Department of Public Safety's website.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Nevada's sexual assault laws contact a local criminal defense attorney, or sex crime lawyer.

If you so someone that you know has been the victim of a sex crime, please contact your local police station or the Rape Crisis Center at 702-366-1640.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.