NRS 200.368 is the Nevada law which prohibits statutory sexual seduction (a.k.a. statutory rape). Statutory rape means any kind of penetrative sex between an adult 18 years of age or older with a person who is:
- 14 or 15 years of age, and
- at least four (4) years younger than the adult.
The statute states:
A person who commits statutory sexual seduction shall be punished:
1. If the person is 21 years of age or older at the time of the commission of the offense, for a category B felony [in Nevada] by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, if the person is under the age of 21 years, for a gross misdemeanor [in Nevada] [carrying up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines].
3. If the person is under the age of 21 years and has previously been convicted of a sexual offense, as defined in NRS 179D.097, for a category D felony [in Nevada] [carrying 1 - 4 years in prison and possibly up to $5,000 in fines]
A person can get prosecuted for statutory rape under NRS 200.368 even if no "rape" occurred and the sex was completely consensual.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have over thirty years of combined experience in fighting sex offense cases and negotiating statutory rape charges down to lesser offenses or even full dismissals. For your convenience, on this page we provide basic information about Nevada statutory sexual seduction law under NRS 200.368 including the definition, possible penalties, and how we can help.
Definition of statutory sexual seduction in Nevada (NRS 200.368)
The legal definition of statutory rape (officially called "statutory sexual seduction") in Las Vegas, Nevada, refers to penetrative sex committed by a person 18 or older with a child aged 14 or 15 and who is at least 4 years younger than the perpetrator. Penetrative sex may include:
- vaginal intercourse,
- anal intercourse,
- fellatio, or
- penetration with objects
As you can see, statutory rape punishes any sexual act between an adult of eighteen years old or more and a child of fifteen years old or fourteen years old and who is at least four years younger even if the child fully consents to the sex. The rationale behind Nevada statutory rape laws is that children do not have the intellectual or emotional capacity to consent to sex.
Strict Liability crime
The most unfair aspect of Las Vegas statutory rape law is that it is considered a "strict liability crime" in Nevada. This means that someone may be found guilty of this offense even if he/she was genuinely unaware that the victim was under sixteen and more than four years younger than him/her.
Defenses to Nevada charges of statutory sexual assault
There is nothing more frightening than being accused of a crime, especially a sex offense where the potential consequences are so dire. But it is important to remember that Clark County judges do realize that many of the people who are charged with statutory sexual seduction in Nevada are falsely accused, and there are several defenses your attorney may use to try to achieve a favorable resolution.
- False accusations: As with the Nevada crime of battery domestic violence (NRS 200.485) and the Nevada crime of sexual assault (NRS 200.366), many of the people who are charged with statutory rape in Clark County are falsely accused by other people out of revenge, anger or to influence child custody proceedings. If your attorney can show that the allegations are bogus, your case should be dismissed.
- Age of consent: As we stated, the legal age of consent is 16 years old. If the alleged victim in your case was sixteen years old or more at the time, then statutory rape charges cannot stand.
- Lack of evidence: In order for you to be convicted of statutory rape in Nevada, the prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As long as your attorney can show that the state's evidence is too weak or ambiguous to sustain a guilty verdict at trial, then the prosecution should be willing to negotiate down or dismiss the charges.
Note that it is not a defense to statutory sexual seduction in Nevada that the accused reasonably believed that the victim was of age, or even that the victim lied to the accused about his/her age.
Penalties for statutory sexual seduction in Nevada (NRS 200.368)
The punishment for statutory sexual seduction in Nevada under NRS 200.368 depends on the age of the person being accused. If he/she is twenty-one or older, statutory rape is treated as a category B felony, carrying:
- one to ten years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
But if the accused is younger then twenty-one years old, then courts are more forgiving and punish statutory rape as only a gross misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of:
- up to 364 days in jail, and/or
- up to $2,000 in fines
But if the person under twenty-one has previously been convicted of a sexual offense, a statutory rape conviction is a category D felony, carrying:
- one to four years in Nevada State prison, and
- maybe up to to $5,000 in fines
Note that statutory sexual seduction is also considered a crime against moral turpitude in Nevada, so non-citizens convicted of it may be deported from the U.S."
Statutory rape between school employees and pupils
Nevada has separate laws specifically prohibiting sexual conduct between school employees (such as teachers) and pupils who are at least 16 years old. It is punished as a category C felony in Las Vegas carrying:
- one to five years in prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
Sex Offender Registry
If someone is convicted of statutory sexual seduction in Nevada, he/she will usually be ordered by the judge to register as a sex offender. This is why it is so important for anyone accused of statutory rape in Las Vegas to retain counsel to try to negotiate a plea bargain that has no sex offender consequences.
Read more about Nevada sex offender registry laws.
Arrested? Call now . . . .
Getting accused of the Clark County crime of statutory sexual seduction under NRS 200.368 is very serious in Nevada, but there are ways to fight the case. Please call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation today to discuss how we may be able to persuade the state to lessen your charges or even throw them out altogether so your criminal record remains clean.
If you are seeking information about statutory sexual seduction laws in California, then please visit our page on California statutory rape laws (Penal Code 261.5 PC).
For more information see our article on the Nevada crime of oral copulation with a minor.