Is it illegal in Nevada for an adult to date a minor?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

It is legal in Nevada for an adult to date a 17-year old or a 16-year old. Otherwise, any dating relationship between an adult and a child under 16 will probably constitute either of the Nevada crimes:

  • statutory sexual seduction (statutory rape),
  • lewdness with a minor under 16,
  • luring,
  • making child pornography, and/or
  • child abuse

Statutory Sexual Seduction in Nevada (NRS 200.368)

The age of consent in Nevada is 16. If a person aged 15 or younger has penetrative sex with an adult, the adult may face charges for the Nevada crime of statutory rape (called "statutory sexual seduction") if the adult is at least four years older than the child. Therefore, an 18-year-old would not face statutory rape charges for having sex with a 15-year-old because there is only a three-year age difference.

Statutory rape is a category B felony if the adult is 21 or older. The penalty is:

Otherwise, statutory rape is a gross misdemeanor for a first offense and a category D felony for successive offenses. Gross misdemeanors carry:

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

Category D felonies carry:

  • 1 - 4 years in prison, and
  • possibly up to $5,000 in fines

In addition, the defendant may be ordered to register as a sex offender.

Lewdness with a Minor under 16 in Nevada (NRS 201.230)

Nevada law prohibits touching a child under 16 for sexual purposes, even if the touching did not involve penetration. The Nevada crime of lewdness with a minor carries up to $10,000 in fines, the requirement to register as a sex offender, and prison:

Lewdness with a 14- or 15-year old is a category B felony, carrying a prison sentence of one to ten years. Lewdness with a minor under 14 is a category A felony, carrying life in prison with the possibility of parole after ten years.

Note that there is no parole if the defendant has a prior conviction of lewdness or a similar offense.

Luring a Minor for Sexual Conduct in Nevada (NRS 201.560)

Luring occurs when a person contacts another person he/she believes is less than 16 and at least five years younger with the intent to engage in sexual conduct.

The penalties for luring a child with intent to engage in sexual conduct is a category B felony, carrying a possible fine of up to $10,000. If the defendant used a computer to lure the child, the prison sentence is one to ten years.

Otherwise, the penalty is two to fifteen years in prison. In addition, the person must register as a sex offender.

Making Child Pornography in Nevada (NRS 200.710)

Knowingly using a child to create pornography a category A felony. The penalty is life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

If the child was at least 14, eligibility for parole starts after five years or prison. If the child was under 14, parole eligibility starts after ten years.

Child Abuse in Nevada (NRS 200.508)

The Nevada crime of child abuse comprises any instance of child sex abuse or exploitation that does not fall under the definitions of statutory rape, lewdness, child pornography, or luring.

Child sexual abuse is a category A felony carrying life in prison. If the sexual abuse was willful, there the is the possibility of parole after fifteen years. Otherwise, parole may be granted after ten years. The judge may also impose sex offender registration requirements.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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