Oral Copulation with a Minor
(Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys)

Unlike California, Nevada does not have one specific law prohibiting oral copulation with a minor. Instead, people accused of having oral sex with a child in Nevada are prosecuted for either of the following Nevada child sex crimes depending on the circumstances:

These crimes carry potential life sentences and mandatory Nevada sexual offender registration. But our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys may be able to negotiate a favorable resolution or win a "not guilty" verdict.

Definition

The Nevada crime of "oral copulation with a minor" involves the defendant's or child's mouth touching the the genitalia or anus of the other.

Defenses

Possible defenses to Nevada charges of oral copulation with a minor include:

It is not a defense if the defendant genuinely believed the victim was of age.

Penalties

The penalties for oral copulation with a minor in Nevada turn on which crime the the defendant gets convicted of.

  • The Nevada crime of lewdness with a minor under 14 carries life in Nevada State Prison with the possibility of parole after ten (10) years.
  • The Nevada crime of open or gross lewdness carries up to four (4) years in prison depending on whether the person has a previous conviction.
  • The Nevada crime of statutory sexual seduction (statutory rape) carries up to five (5) years in prison depending on the age of the defendant.
  • The Nevada crime of sexual assault (rape) carries life in prison with or without the possibility of parole depending on the circumstances.

Furthermore, defendants convicted of the crime for oral copulation with a minor will have to register as a sex offender.

For more detailed information about the Nevada crime of oral sex with a child, scroll down.

Fist
Oral copulation with a minor under 16 without consent is a crime in Nevada.

Legal Definition of Oral Copulation with a Minor in Nevada

Like it sounds, oral copulation with a minor is when the defendant puts his/her mouth on a child's genitalia or anus, or when the child puts his/her mouth on the defendant's genitalia or anus. Nevada defines "minor" as being under 18 years old, though oral copulation with a child ages sixteen or seventeen is not a crime as long as the child consents.

Depending on the circumstances, people accused of having oral sex with a minor in Nevada will face charges for either lewdness, open or gross lewdness, statutory rape, or rape. Note that defendants still face charges irrespective of whether the defendant or victim had an orgasm/ ejaculated.

Definition of Lewdness with a Child under 14 in Nevada

NRS 201.230 prohibits "any lewd or lascivious act upon the body, or any part or member thereof, under the age of 14" for the purpose of sexually gratifying the child or defendant. This crime applies only when the victim was 13-year old or younger and when there was allegedly no penetration. For example, a person accused of kissing a child's backside with the child's underwear still on could get prosecuted for lewdness with a child under 14.1

Definition of Open or Gross Lewdness in Nevada

Open or gross lewdness comprises cases of inappropriate touching just falling short of rape (penetration). There is no age limit for the victim's age. So for example, a person accused of kissing the backside of a child age 14-or older would be prosecuted for open or gross lewdness rather than lewdness with a child under 14.2

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Unlike California, Nevada has no one specific law prohibiting oral copulation with a minor. Instead, it may be prosecuted as lewdness with a minor, open or gross lewdness, statutory rape, or rape.
Definition of Statutory Sexual Seduction in Nevada

16 is the age of consent in Nevada. Statutory sexual seduction (also called "statutory rape") comprises any sexual act involving penetration between a defendant age 18 and older and a child victim age 15 or younger. It makes no difference if the child victim initiated the sexual encounter or consented to the oral sex. For example, an 18-year old who has oral sex with his 15-year old girlfriend faces statutory rape charges in Nevada even if the girlfriend wanted it.3

Definition of Sexual Assault in Nevada

Also called "rape," sexual assault involves an act of sexual penetration without the consent of the victim or when the victim is sleeping, inebriated, comatose, or otherwise unable to consent. So a defendant who forces a child of any age to engage in oral sex would face rape charges.4

Since differentiating these crimes can get a little confusing, Henderson criminal defense attorney Michael Becker gives an example to illustrate their definitions:

Example: Michael is an 18-year old high school senior. He is dating 16-year old Brittany. He is also cheating on Brittany with 15-year old Terri. On Friday, Michael and Brittany have oral sex while she is highly intoxicated. Michael then drives to Terri's and has consensual oral sex with her. If caught, Michael could be arrested and booked at the Henderson Detention Center for both rape and statutory rape: Rape for having oral penetration with Brittany while she was unable to consent, and statutory rape for having oral penetration with Terri who was too young to consent.

Had there been no penetration in the above example, Michael instead would face charges for open and gross lewdness. And if Brittany or Terri were under 14, Michael would face charges for lewdness with a child under 14.

Defenses to Oral Copulation with a Minor in Nevada

The best ways to fight charges of Nevada child sex crimes depend squarely on the specifics of the case and the evidence the prosecution presents. In general, the following defenses may prove effective:

  • Victim is of age and consented. People may consent to oral sex in Nevada by age 16. So if the defense attorney can show that the "victim" in the case was at least 16 and consented to have oral sex, then rape nor statutory rape charges should not stand.
    Consent
    Consent is a defense to rape charges but not statutory rape charges.
  • Defendant was falsely accused. Children are especially prone to making up stories out of revenge, anger, or a misunderstanding. In cases where there is no physical evidence of rape or no witnesses, the evidence may boil down to the victim's word against the defendant's. If the D.A. cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had oral sex with a child under 15 or had nonconsensual oral sex with a child age 16 or 17, then the charge should be dismissed.

Note it is not a defense to child sex crimes if the defendant was genuinely unaware that the victim was under the age of consent. Henderson criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse gives an example:

Example: John is 18-years old and goes to an 18 and older club in downtown Las Vegas. Samantha is 15-years old and gets into the club with a fake ID. She also looks at least 18-years old. She approaches John, and they go back to her place and have consensual oral sex. If caught, John could be booked at the Clark County Detention Center for statutory sexual seduction because he had sexual penetration with someone under the age of consent.

In the above example, it makes no difference that John had good reason to believe Samantha was 16 or older. He would still be held liable for statutory rape, which is a strict liability crime in Nevada.

Penalties for Oral Copulation with a Minor in Nevada

People convicted of oral copulation with a minor in Nevada are always required to register as a sex offender. The length of the prison sentence and amount of fines depend on which individual crime he/she gets convicted of.

Punishment for Lewdness with a Child under 14 in Nevada

The Nevada crime of lewdness with a minor under 14 is a category A felony in Nevada. A first offense carries a sentence of:

  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after ten (10) years, and
  • possibly a fine of up to $10,000

Note there is no parole if the defendant was previously convicted of lewdness with a minor or a comparable crime.

Handcuff
Oral copulation with a minor can carry up to life in Nevada prison depending on the case.
Punishment for Open or Gross Lewdness in Nevada

A first-time conviction of open or gross lewdness is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada. The punishment carries:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines, and

A subsequent conviction of open or gross lewdness is a category D felony in Nevada. The punishment carries:

  • one to four (1 - 4) years in prison, and
  • possibly a fine of up to $5,000
Punishment for Statutory Sexual Seduction in Nevada

If the defendant is 21 or older, statutory rape is prosecuted as a category C felony in Las Vegas carrying:

  • one to five (1 - 5) years in prison, and
  • possibly up to $10,000 in fines

If the defendant is younger than 21 years old, statutory rape is prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines
Punishment for Sexual Assault in Nevada

Sexual assault is a category A felony in Nevada. The sentence turns on the victim's age, the defendant's criminal history, and whether the alleged rape caused the victim substantial bodily harm in Nevada.

When the victim is 16 or older:

Rape resulting in substantial bodily harm in Nevada carries:

  • life in prison without the possibility of parole, or
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after fifteen (15) years.

Rape with no substantial bodily harm carries life in prison with the possibility of parole after ten (10) years.

When the victim is 14 or 15:

Rape resulting in substantial bodily harm carries life in prison without the possibility of parole. Rape without substantial bodily harm carries life in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty-five (25) years.

When the victim is 13 or younger:

Rape resulting in substantial bodily harm carries life in prison without the possibility of parole. Rape without substantial bodily harm carries life in prison with the possibility of parole after thirty-five (35) years.

When the accused is a repeat offender:

A defendant who has a prior rape conviction faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for any successive convictions of rape with a child under 16.

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Arrested? You need an attorney...

Are you facing charges for "oral copulation with a minor" in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a FREE consultation at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We may be able to negotiate or litigate a favorable resolution.

To learn more about California laws for oral copulation with a minor | California Penal Code 288a PC, read our article on California laws for oral copulation with a minor | California Penal Code 288a PC.

LEGAL REFERENCES

 

1 NRS 201.230 Lewdness with child under 14 years; penalties.

      1. A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child, is guilty of lewdness with a child.

      2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person who commits lewdness with a child is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.

      3. A person who commits lewdness with a child and who has been previously convicted of:

      (a) Lewdness with a child pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child; or

      (b) An offense committed in another jurisdiction that, if committed in this State, would constitute lewdness with a child pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child,

-> is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.

      4. For the purpose of this section, “other sexual offense against a child” has the meaning ascribed to it in subsection 5 of NRS 200.366.

2 NRS 201.210 Open or gross lewdness; penalty.

      1. A person who commits any act of open or gross lewdness is guilty:

      (a) For the first offense, of a gross misdemeanor.

      (b) For any subsequent offense, of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

      2. For the purposes of this section, the breast feeding of a child by the mother of the child does not constitute an act of open or gross lewdness.

3 NRS 200.368 Statutory sexual seduction: Penalties. Except under circumstances where a greater penalty is provided in NRS 201.540, a person who commits statutory sexual seduction shall be punished:

      1. If the person is 21 years of age or older, for a category C felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

      2. If the person is under the age of 21 years, for a gross misdemeanor.

4 NRS 200.366 Sexual assault: Definition; penalties.

1. A person who 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, is guilty of sexual assault.

2. Except as otherwise provided in subsections 3 and 4, a person who commits a sexual assault is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished:

(a) If substantial bodily harm to the victim results from the actions of the defendant committed in connection with or as a part of the sexual assault, by imprisonment in the state prison:

(1) For life without the possibility of parole; or

(2) For life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 15 years has been served.

(b) If no substantial bodily harm to the victim results, by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served.

3. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, a person who commits a sexual assault against a child under the age of 16 years is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished:

(a) If the crime results in substantial bodily harm to the child, by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c), if the crime does not result in substantial bodily harm to the child, by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 25 years has been served.

(c) If the crime is committed against a child under the age of 14 years and does not result in substantial bodily harm to the child, by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 35 years has been served.

4. A person who commits a sexual assault against a child under the age of 16 years and who has been previously convicted of:

(a) A sexual assault pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child; or

(b) An offense committed in another jurisdiction that, if committed in this State, would constitute a sexual assault pursuant to this section or any other sexual offense against a child,

-> is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.

5. For the purpose of this section, “other sexual offense against a child” means any act committed by an adult upon a child constituting:

(a) Incest pursuant to NRS 201.180;

(b) Lewdness with a child pursuant to NRS 201.230;

(c) Sado-masochistic abuse pursuant to NRS 201.262; or

(d) Luring a child using a computer, system or network pursuant to NRS 201.560, if punished as a felony.

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