One of the most serious criminal charges in Nevada is the crime of sexual assault (often called “sexual battery” or “rape”). A conviction comes with a long prison sentence and a requirement that you register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Many “sexual assault” cases involving an allegation that the alleged victim was so drunk that he or she was unable to consent to sexual penetration.
Las Vegas Sexual Assault Lawyer
The goal in many of these cases is getting either an outright dismissal or a reduction to a lesser charge that will not require the accused to register as a sexual offender such as battery under NRS 200.481.
James C. Gallo is a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada, who is experienced representing clients charged with sexual assault. Call for a free consultation to find out the best way to fight the charges and protect your future after a false allegation.
Nevada's Definition of “Sexual Assault”
Nevada law defines the term “sexual assault” in NRS 200.366. A person commits sexual assault when he or she "subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, 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 his or her conduct."
Lesser charges include open and gross lewdness under NRS 201.210.
Defenses for Sexual Assault
Defenses to the charge of sexual assault often center on a showing that false allegations were made. Many of these cases involve domestic partners who previously engaged in consensual sexual conduct. Often false allegations are made out of spite or to gain an advantage in a child custody case.
It is important to remember that the prosecutor must prove the charges at trial beyond all reasonable doubt. In many of these cases, the allegations are “he said, she said” and very difficult for the prosecutor to prove at trial.
Another defense centers around a showing that the alleged victim actual consented to the sexual conduct only to later deny that he or she consented.
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Las Vegas
The penalties for sexual assault under Nevada law are classified as a category A felony. A conviction also results in a requirement that the person accused register as a sex offender.
The potential penalties depend on whether the person accused has a criminal record, whether the sexual assault resulted in substantial bodily harm and the age of the alleged victim.
Repeat Offenders of Sexual Assault Against a Child
If the person accused has a prior conviction for sexual assault against a child, and he or she is convicted of another offense of sexual assault against a child under 16 years of age, then the sentence will be life without the possibility of parole.
Sexual Assault – Victim 16 or Older
If the sexual assault was committed on a person 16 years old or older and no substantial boldly harm resulted from the assault, then the crime is punishable by up to life in prison with a possibility of parole after ten years.
If substantial bodily harm occurred, then the crime is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
Sexual Assault – Victim is 14 or 15 Years Old
If the sexual assault was committed on a person 14 or 15 years old, and no substantial bodily harm is proven, then the potential sentence is life with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years. If the sexual assault caused substantial bodily hard, then the potential sentence is life without the possibility of parole.
Sexual Assault – Victim is 13 Years Old or Younger
For a victim under 13 years of age or younger with no substantial bodily harm, the potential sentence is life without the possibility of parole for 25 years. If substantial bodily hard occurred then the potential sentence is life with no possibility of patrol.
Open and Gross Lewdness under RNRS 201.210 – punishable as a category D felony.
Statutory Sexual Seduction under NRS 200.368 (often called “statutory rape”) – punishable as a category C felony or a gross misdemeanor (depending on the age of the alleged victim).
Additional Resources on Sexual Assault in Nevada
Sexual Assault in Las Vegas, Nevada - Visit the website of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) to learn more about the sexual assault unit consisting of five squad detectives. The detectives screen and review report crimes, probable cause arrests, search warrants and case submittal packages. The Sexual Assault Detectives in Las Vegas also direct the timing and location of medical exams, victim interviews and crime scene investigations.
Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas - Visit the website of the Rape Crisis Center founded in 1974 to help the victims of sexual assaults within Clark County, NV, through crisis response, counseling, court advocacy, education and outreach.
Child Protective Services in Clark County - Visit the Clark County website to find out more about the role of Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations after an allegation of abuse or neglect.
Finding a Sexual Assault Attorney in Las Vegas, NV
If you are accused of committing a sexual assault (often called “rape” or “sexual battery”) then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of James C. Gallo in Las Vegas, NV.