Nevada law protects minors from sexual activity, specifically sexual penetration, with an adult. These types of acts are often referred to as statutory rape. Under Nevada law, AnchorNRS § 200.364 Section 10, it is called “statutory sexual seduction” and it is a sex crime.

These laws can be rather complex. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the legal definition of statutory rape in Nevada?

Nevada sex offender laws provide this definition:

  • “Statutory sexual seduction” means ordinary sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, or sexual penetration committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person who is 14 or 15 years of age and who is at least 4 years younger than the perpetrator. (NRS § 200.364 Section 10)

The definition for “sexual penetration” is also provided:

  • “Sexual penetration” means cunnilingus, fellatio, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or any object, manipulated or inserted by a person into the genital or anal openings of the body of another, including sexual intercourse in its ordinary meaning. The term does not include any such conduct for medical purposes. (NRS § 200.364 Section 9)

This means that intercourse (vaginal or anal), cunnilingus, fellatio, or penetration using objects or fingers are all considered “sexual penetration” or “penetrative sex.”

If these acts occur between the defendant who is 18 years old or older and the victim who is 14 or 15 years old, AND the defendant is four years older (or more) than the victim, it is statutory sexual seduction and it is a crime.

What is Nevada’s legal age of consent for sex?

In Nevada, the legal age of consent for sex is 16 years old. The reasoning for this is that a young teenager does not have the emotional or intellectual capacity to understand the ramifications and consequences of penetrative sex and is therefore unable to give consent.

If the minor is younger than 16 and the required legal elements are met, it is statutory sexual seduction. If the act does not include penetrative sex but is still sexual contact, then the sexual abuse charges are Lewdness with a Child.

Does Nevada have a Romeo and Juliet law?

Nevada does have a Romeo and Juliet law. In the Nevada code, it is referred to as a “close-in-age exception.” It allows for a less than four-year gap in age so that an 18-year-old can have consensual sex with a 15-year-old because they are fewer than four years apart in age. Therefore, the 18-year-old is not committing the crime of statutory sexual seduction even though he or she is an “adult” having consensual sex with a minor.

What are the penalties for statutory sexual seduction in Nevada?

The penalties for statutory sexual seduction are described in Nevada law, NRS § 200.368:

  • Defendant is 21 years old or older
  • Defendant is younger than 21
    • Gross misdemeanor (No prior convictions for sex crimes)
      • Maximum 354 days in jail
      • Maximum $2,000 fine
      • Register with the Nevada Sex Offender Registry
    • Category D felony (At least 1 prior conviction for a sex crime)
      • Minimum 1 year to Maximum 4 years in Nevada State Prison
      • Maximum $5,000 fine
      • Register with the Nevada Sex Offender Registry

Can a 21-year-old date a 16-year-old in Nevada?

The legal age of consent for sex in Nevada is 16. That means a 21-year-old can legally date a 16-year-old without any legal consequences. It is not a sex crime. While the 16-year-old is still legally considered a minor, he or she is legally able to consent to sex, even with an adult.



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