The three top defenses against sex crimes in Nevada are that the victim gave consent, there is a lack of evidence that the crime of sexual assault took place, and that the victim is making false allegations against the defendant.

The prosecution has the burden of proof to show beyond a reasonable doubt that every element of the sexual assault is true. If they cannot do that then the charges are typically dismissed or dropped although sometimes they do negotiate a lesser charge.

So, how exactly does a prosecutor prove a sex crime? Here’s what you need to know.


How are Sex Crimes Prosecuted?

The prosecutor needs physical evidence, which is the most obvious evidence in a sex case – and what carries the most weight. Depending on the type of sex crime, this can include:

  • Medical records that show the victim suffered physical harm
  • Examination of the victim by a doctor or hospital
  • Rape kit
  • Physical signs of force
    • Bruising
    • Scratches
    • Tearing

Other evidence may be introduced to prove the prosecution’s case or strengthen it. This can include:

  • Phone records between the victim and the defendant
  • Phone call recordings, text messages, emails, and other communication between the victim and the defendant
  • Pictures of the situation or incident
  • Videos of the situation or incident
  • Photos of the crime scene
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Witnesses who heard or saw the crime before, during, or after it took place


Does “He Said She Said” Hold Up in Court?

A person can claim to be a victim of a sex crime. This is often called a “he said, she said” case and it can put an innocent person behind bars. A mere unsubstantiated statement from one person alleging that a crime occurred, even if there is no evidence other than the victim, no medical proof, no witnesses, or even no injuries, can still hold up in court.

In such cases, the defense will seek to discredit the alleged victim’s testimony by showing:

  • The victim had at least one motive to fabricate their testimony
  • The victim’s testimony has inconsistencies during the trial or at earlier hearings
  • The initial police report contains inconsistencies
  • There are no witnesses to the incident
  • There is no medical proof
  • There was a delay in the victim reporting the incident – they did not report it immediately


Can the Defendant be Convicted Without Evidence?

The truth is, the evidence in a sex crime does not necessarily have to be strong for the prosecution to get a conviction. If the jury has sympathy for the victim they can find the defendant guilty.

This is why it is so important for someone charged with a sex crime to have solid legal representation. The evidence does not have to be great and a defendant who is trying to do it on their own could find themselves convicted even if they are not guilty.

While evidence does make a case stronger, sex crime cases are usually emotionally charged and juries can be won over with a few tears and a compelling testimony by the victim. A good defense attorney can shoot holes in that testimony though and they can cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s evidence which can level the playing field and give the defendant a fighting chance.


Is Witness Evidence Enough to Convict?

The short answer is yes. If that witness convinces the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, then there can be a conviction with just witness evidence. The good news is, a good defense attorney can help keep that from happening by casting doubt in the minds of the jury which is enough to keep a conviction from happening.




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