In today’s world, any inappropriate sexual behavior directed toward children is considered a heinous crime. These acts are intolerable, so much so that children themselves are being targeted as the perpetrator of sexual assaults on other children. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency revealed that minors account for 12% of all rape incidents and 19% of all other juvenile sex crimes against other minors. In many cases, a teen relationship ends, feelings get hurt, and the heartbroken party seeks retribution against the person by declaring serious accusations such as rape, assault, or some other type of sexual misconduct. However, this doesn’t stop with the accuser, oftentimes their family is also involved and will seek harsh punishment for the pain their child suffered. As you can imagine, more often than not, the male in a heterosexual relationship is the alleged perpetrator. Furthermore, with the advancement of modern technologies such as the internet and smartphones, more teens are being charged with juvenile sex crimes in Las Vegas than ever before. Although these crimes are not the same as adult sex offenses, if convicted, the penalties can still be harsh and ruin a child’s bright future. If your child has been accused of a sexual offense in Nevada, it’s critical that you seek representation from an experienced Las Vegas juvenile crime attorney right away. Even if there is no proof to support a teen sexual offense claim, you must take these allegations seriously because the potential consequences are very real.
In Nevada, sexual assault is also referred to as rape. This occurs when a person forces another person to have sex against his or her will, or when a person has sex with someone who lacks the mental or physical ability to consent or understand what is happening at the time of intercourse. In Nevada, rape is a Class A felony that carries stern consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence and the requirement to register as a sex offender once convicted. But like most cases, the penalties for juvenile and adult charges will differ. A juvenile sexual assault conviction depends on the following factors:
- Age of the victim
- Injuries to the victim
- Other sexual charges in the offender’s criminal record
However, if during the sexual assault the victim sustains severe injuries, the penalty is often life in prison without parole for both adult and juvenile offenders. Each case will be different and the evidence presented is critical in juvenile sexual assault cases. If the court cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender is guilty of rape, the juvenile sexual assault charges may be dropped altogether. It’s crucial to seek representation from a skilled Las Vegas juvenile crime attorney who has handled these types of cases previously. When your child’s future hangs in the balance, you need the best possible representation.
The goal is to retain as many juvenile crimes within the juvenile system as possible. Nevada lawmakers understand that a mistake by a child should not define them for the rest of their life, therefore, juvenile crime penalties are aimed more toward rehabilitation rather than strict punishment. But, only so much leniency can be given to young offenders. If the juvenile crime committed is a severe crime, harsh consequences will be pursued, and the likelihood of being tried as an adult is much higher. For example, juvenile sex crimes in Las Vegas are at the top of the list for juvenile offenses, there is a high likelihood that the prosecutor will go after the maximum penalty if the defendant is found guilty. Luckily, at the Spartacus Law Firm, our Las Vegas juvenile sex crime lawyer helps families and their young children understand the seriousness of a sex crime conviction for a juvenile and the best way to defend against the possible penalties. Without an experienced attorney on your side, the potential consequences for a juvenile sex offense in Las Vegas can include:
- Time in a juvenile corrections facility or jail, if tried as an adult
- When the child turns 18 or 21, they may be required to register as a sex offender
- Restitution to the victim, probation, and community service
Sexting is a common occurrence among minors, more common than you might think. As a result, Nevada legislators have realized that while teen sexting is a problem, harshly punishing those found guilty of the offense may not be the best solution. In fact, teens who have made the mistake of sexting are generally not charged with child pornography for a first offense. Whereas if someone 21 years or older was caught having sexual images of a minor, they would likely face child pornography charges. To adapt to the sharp increase in sexting, the state of Nevada passed a law in 2011 (NRS 200.737) that specifically addresses teenage sexting. The recent law makes it a crime for a minor to:
1.) A minor shall not knowingly and willfully use an electronic communication device to transmit or distribute a sexual image of himself or herself to another person.
2.) A minor shall not knowingly and willfully use an electronic communication device to transmit or distribute a sexual image of another minor who is older than, the same age as or not more than 4 years younger than the minor transmitting the sexual image.
3.) A minor shall not knowingly and willfully possess a sexual image that was transmitted or distributed as described in subsection 1 or 2 if the minor who is the subject of the sexual image is older than, the same age as or not more than 4 years younger than the minor who possesses the sexual image. It is an affirmative defense to a violation charged pursuant to this subsection if the minor who possesses a sexual image:
A.) Did not knowingly purchase, procure, solicit or request the sexual image or take any other action to cause the sexual image to come into his or her possession; and
B.) Promptly and in good faith, and without retaining or allowing any person, other than a law enforcement agency or a school official, to access any sexual image:
1.) Took reasonable steps to destroy each image; or
2.) Reported the matter to a law enforcement agency or a school official and gave the law enforcement agency or school official access to each image.
Previously, teenagers could only be charged with sexting under Nevada’s child pornography laws, which led to strict and unfair consequences. However, with NRS 200.737
in place, a minor convicted of sexting for the first time may be subject to community service or a fine. However, a second conviction for sexting could potentially be grounds for a 6-month sentence in a Las Vegas juvenile detention facility. It’s common for people to think that a young child will not be tried as an adult and the only penalty will be a slap on the wrist, but this is not always the case. Juvenile sex crimes in Las Vegas can create serious complications for a young adult and alter the trajectory of their life. If your child has been charged with a sex crime in Nevada, it’s imperative that you consult with a Las Vegas juvenile sexual offense attorney to discuss the possible consequences your child could be facing and the best way to combat the charges.
According to the Nevada sexting statute, a picture by itself is not enough proof to convict someone. Prosecutors need evidence that a teenager requested or solicited a sexual image. Without more, the state cannot prove its case.
If your child has been charged with a sexting offense, you need to contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at The Draskovich Law Group, Chtd. While the consequences of teen sexting are not as severe as they used to be, a conviction can nevertheless have serious and negative effects on a teenager’s life and future. When the stakes are high, you need compassionate and aggressive legal representation.
A recent study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reveals shocking statistics of teens who use cellphones to send or post nude or semi-nude photos and videos of themselves. The percentage of teens who are sexting are as follows:
- 20% of teens overall
- 22% of teen girls
- 18% of teen boys
- 11% of young teen girls ages 13-16
In fact, 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys who send or post sexually suggestive content say that they send/post to a boyfriend/girlfriend. 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have sent or posted such content to someone they were romantically/sexually interested in. Furthermore, the FBI reports that nearly one in six teens between the ages of 12 and 17 who own a cellphone has received nude pictures from someone they know.
Despite young teens being classified as juveniles, there’s a real possibility that they can be tried as an adult for a sexting charge depending on the circumstances of the case. If a child is charged as an adult and convicted of a sexual offense, the penalties will be harsh, including a mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Depending on the age of the “victim(s),” there is a very good chance that your teenager’s picture and your home address may end up on the Megan’s Law website. You’ve likely heard of these incidents occurring in other schools, but never imagined it could happen to your child. We highly recommend that if your child is facing similar juvenile sexual charges in Nevada that you reach out to the Spartacus Law Firm right away to speak with our Las Vegas juvenile sex crime attorney.
Nevada Law states that children under 16 years of age may not lawfully consent to have sexual intercourse with others. Additionally, it does not matter if the minor initiates or consents to the sexual activity. Similarly, it does not matter if the child is mature for his/her age and can pass for an adult. Statutory rape laws are extremely serious charges and the penalties associated with them reflect that. If you or a child are facing a sex crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer
According to NRS 200.364, 200.368
, statutory rape, otherwise known as statutory sexual seduction in Nevada, occurs by engaging in consensual sexual intercourse, oral or anal sex, or any other sexual penetration with a person who is 14 or 15 years old when the defendant is age 18 or older and at least four years older than the victim. For example, if a 20-year-old male has sex with a 14-year-old female, the male can be charged with statutory rape. In Nevada, statutory rape is charged as a felony if the defendant is age 21 or older.
According to NRS 200.366
sexual assault occurs by engaging in sexual intercourse with a child younger than 14 years old when the defendant is age 18 or older and at least two years older than the victim. Under Nevada’s legal age of consent laws
, sexual relations with a child 15 years or younger is considered statutory rape. However, Nevada has an age exemption to statutory rape charges called the Romeo & Juliet law. There are many caveats in these juvenile sexual offenses, that’s why it’s highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a proven Las Vegas juvenile sex crime attorney as soon as possible.
In many states, including Nevada, a “Romeo and Juliet
” law is in effect. Essentially, the Romeo and Juliet law in Nevada protects minors from criminal prosecution for having consensual sex with another minor. Therefore, it’s legal for minors ages 14 and 17 to have consensual sex together, but illegal for minors ages 14 and 18 to have consensual sex because of the four-year age difference. According to NRS 200.364, 200.366, 200.368
, minors under the age of 18 who engage in consensual sex with another minor close in age cannot be convicted of statutory rape, and if the defendant is under the age of 21, the crime is a misdemeanor.