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Nevada Sex Offenses and Why They are Different

There are groups of sex and sex-related offenses that are considered crimes in Nevada. Such crimes can include touching, fondling, display, lewdness, rape, and even sexual murder. Sex offenses are different from other criminal conduct because they threaten public safety and consent. Sex offenses are also handled differently by the Nevada Court and law enforcement agencies because of the potential risk of re-offense against the same or another victim. The penalty for sex offenses in Nevada is not limited to only incarceration in a county jail or state prison. Such offenses can have impact Convicted sex offenders also suffer restrictions on where to reside, work, and exercise certain civil rights. These groups of offenders are also required to register on the Nevada Sex Offender Registry, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

What is a Nevada Sex Crime?

A sex crime in Nevada is a serious crime that involves having sexual, oral, or anal intercourse with another person against their will or with a person who is legally incapable of giving consent. Sex crimes also include non-penetrable offenses such as lewdness and touching accomplished for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification. The Nevada criminal law covering sex crimes and sex-related offenses is the Nevada Revised Statutes 200 (Crimes Against Persons) and Nevada Revised Statutes 201 (Crimes Against Public Decency and Good Morals). Some sex crimes described under these statutes include:

  • Sexual assault (NRS 200.366)
  • Statutory sexual seduction (NRS 200.366, 368)
  • Open or gross lewdness (NRS 201.210)
  • Lewdness with a child under the age of 16 (NRS 201.230)
  • Sexual acts in public (NRS 201.190)
  • Indecent exposure (NRS 201.220)

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Nevada?

The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) described a variety of sex offenses, their severity, and associated penalties. Below are the legal definitions and sentencing of the different types of sex offenses in the state of Nevada.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is the legal term for rape in Nevada. A defendant is guilty of sexual assault if the defendant engages in penetrative sex or forces another person to engage in penetrative sex:

  • Without the victim’s consent
  • With a victim that is physically or mentally incapable of giving consent and the defendant knows or reasonably knows
  • With a child below the age of 14

Severity: Category A felony

Penalty: A sexual assault conviction in Nevada results in life imprisonment. The possibility of parole depends on the age of the victim, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether or not the victim sustained bodily harm during the assault.

If the victim is 16 years or older:

  • The defendant may be eligible for parole after 15 years
  • The defendant may be eligible for parole after 10 years if the victim sustained no substantial bodily injury

If the victim is below the age of 16, and the defendant has no prior history of sexual assault or a sexual crime against a child:

  • Parole is possible after 25 years if the victim is between 14–15 years and sustained no substantial bodily injury
  • Parole is possible after 35 years if the victim is less than 14 years and sustains no substantial bodily injury

Statutory sexual seduction (statutory rape)

In Nevada, the age of consent is 16 years. A defendant is guilty of statutory sexual seduction if the defendant has penetrative sexual contact with a minor who is 14–15 years old. Here, the defendant is at least 18 years old and is at least four years younger than the adult. Note that consent of the minor is not considered an exonerating factor (N. R. S. 200.368)

Severity: Statutory sexual seduction in Nevada is classified as a felony or a gross misdemeanor depending on the age and criminal history of the defendant.


Open or Gross Lewdness (NRS 201.210)

In Nevada, a person is charged with the crime of open or gross lewdness if the person engages in any form of non-consensual sexual touching with a victim in a place where the public can observe.

Severity: Category D felony or gross misdemeanor depending on the seriousness of the offense.

Punishment: Open or gross lewdness is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Nevada open or gross lewdness (class D felony) is punishable by 1–4 years in state prison and up to $5000 in fine.

Both misdemeanor and felony open or gross lewdness attract mandatory registration on the sex offender registry.

Lewdness with a child under 16

N. R.S 201.230 defines “lewdness with a minor under 16 years” as committing any malicious or lewd act upon the body or any part of the body of a minor under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual gratification of the defendant or the minor.

This touching is not limited to the sexual organs alone. It may be anywhere on the body of the minor child, provided the conduct was done with sexual intent.

Severity: Class B felony

Punishment: Incarceration time of up to 20 years

Sex offender Levels of Classification in Nevada

Nevada sex offenders are categorized into three tiers depending on the severity of the offense and potential risk of re-offense.

Tier I offenders are the least serious class of offenders. They pose a minimal risk of re-offense and include sex offenses that are not under tier II and tier III. Tier I sex offenders are required to remain registered on the Sex Offender Registry for 15 years and they must physically check in with their local law enforcement once each year. Nevada sex crimes classified as tier I include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Open or gross lewdness
  • Statutory sexual seduction, when the defendant is below the age of 21
  • Administration of drugs to another in commission of a violent crime
  • Sexual penetration of a human corpse
  • Administration of drugs to another drugs to another in commission of a felonious offense
  • Luring a mentally ill victim
  • Sodomy (having oral or anal sex in public)
  • Bestiality
  • Certain crimes when sexually motivated including coercion, first and second degree kidnapping, first and second degree false imprisonment, and burglary
  • Attempt or conspiracy to attempt any of the aforementioned offenses

Tier II offenders in Nevada pose a moderate risk of re-offense. This group of sex offenders are required to register for 25 years and to physically check in with the local law enforcement once every 180 days. Sex crimes designated as tier II offenses include certain crimes against children such as:

  • Child abuse and sexual exploitation of a child who is at least 13 years old
  • Sex trafficking
  • Child pornography
  • Possession of chid pornography
  • Prostitution and living off the earnings of prostitution
  • Felony crime of luring
  • An attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the aforementioned crimes
  • Any offense similar or more severe than those defined under 42 U.S. C. § 16911(3)
  • False imprisonment or attempt to imprison a child
  • Involuntary servitude of a child
  • Sexual conduct between school employees and pupils

Tier III sex offenders in Nevada pose the highest risk to the public. They include those convicted of violent sex crimes and serious ofenses against minors. Nevada tier III offenders are required to register on the Nevada Sex Offender Registry for life. However, compliant tier III sex offenders may be able to get off the state’s sex offender registry after 25 years, if the underlying sex crime was a juvenile delinquency. For verification and surveillance purposes, these offenders must personally check in with their local police or sheriff’s department once every 90 days. Offenses in tier III include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual molestation of a child under 14 years old
  • Child abuse involving sexual exploitation or abuse of a child
  • Sexual battery with intent to commit sexual assault
  • Kidnapping (non-parental)
  • Second sexual crime committed by a defendant who has been classified as a tier II offender
  • An attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
  • Any crime more severe or similar to those stated under in 42 U.S. C. § 16911(4)
  • Incest with a victim less than 16 years old
  • Statutory sexual seduction committed by a defendant who is 21 years or above
  • Lewdness with a child below 14 years of age

How Do I Find a Sex Offender near Me in Nevada?

Residents of Nevada can find registered sex offenders living within a designated neighborhood through the Nevada Sex Offender Registry. The SOR is maintained at varying capacities by the Nevada Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies. Users may search the database by name, vehicle plate number, and geographical location.

To perform a name search, the requesting party is prompted to input a the first and last name of the subject of search. While it is possible to search by either the first name or last name, providing both is recommended for a narrow result.

Searching by a specific vehicle license plate number provides a refined and specific result. Usually, offenders are required to provide their vehicle license numbers of all vehicles in their respective possession.

The “geographical location” search option lets users to search for registered sex offenders living, working, and atending school within designated locations. Searchers may filter the search by providing the street name, city, or a specific zip code. Users have the additional option of choosing a controlled mile radius (1–3 mile radius) of a specific address or zip code.

The purpose of providing the database is to provide timely information to the public concerning the location of registered sex offenders within the jurisidicton of the state. However, not all citizens of the state are notified. Sign up to the Nevada Community Notification Program to get email alerts when a sex offender registers a home, work place, or school addresses near any geographical location of interest.

To obtain Nevada sex offender information by phone, querying parties should call the State Sex Offender Registry at (775) 684–6262.

Nevada Sex Offender Registry

The Nevada Sex Offender Registry Program was enacted 2006 to assist law enforcement agencies with registering and monitoring certain sex offenders living in the state. The registry is frequently updated to include all sexually motivated crimes such as offense against minors and sexually violent offenses. Typically, tier II and III sex offenders are subject to more strict registration rules. Registered offenders are mandated to report to the law enforcement within a time-period and also notify the officials when they change their addresses and contact information. Failure to comply with the registry is a felony in the state of Nevada.

Essentially, the information provided on the public registry is limited to tier II and III. Nevada tier I and juvenile offender details are confidential and strictly restricted to designated personnel.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Nevada?

Nevada laws placed the following restrictions on sex offenders living and working in the state:

  • Residential restrictions: Sex offenders are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of any public or non-public school or child care center
  • Employment and Volunteer restrictions
  • Babysitting restrictions
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