Sexual Assault and Seduction
What is Sexual Assault? What is Sexual Seduction?
Have you been accused of either? If so, you need the services of a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending sexual assault cases.
Sexual assault is rape. Rape has been described as sexual intercourse against the victim’s will by force, threat, or intimidation. It requires proof of sexual intercourse with another compelled by force and against the person’s will or compelled by threat of bodily injury. The crime of rape is, at its core, an offense against the will and consent of the victim.
In Nevada, sexual assault is defined as a person who subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct. Guilt does not require the ordinary act of sexual intercourse. This is because “penetration” includes oral sex or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body.
An essential element of rape is the absence of the victim’s consent. The essence of consent is that it is given out of free will. By itself, the existence of actual consent is not sufficient to establish a defense to a charge of rape unless the alleged victim had sufficient capacity to give consent. The decision by a sexual assault victim to submit due to a genuine fear of death or bodily harm negates any idea of consent regardless of whether that fear was reasonable or not. A person who consents out of fear of personal violence does not consent at all. Even though no physical force is actually used, if the potential force is shown by the perpetrator against the victim so as to paralyze by fear the victim’s will to resist, the consummation of unlawful intercourse is rape. Intimidation, may substitute for force so that one who intimidates a victim into having sexual intercourse may be guilty of rape.
Consent can be withdrawn at any time. This is so even if the person initially willfully engages in sexual intercourse. If they change their mind and withdraw their consent, it will be considered sexual assault if they are forced to continue against their will.
Las Vegas is well known for its 24-7 night life. It is not uncommon for people to consume significant amounts of alcohol or other substances while enjoying themselves. In many instances, this leads to situations where sex may have the appearance of being consensual, when in reality it is not.
Consent to sexual intercourse must be given of the person’s free will. It can only be given if the person has the capacity to give that consent. Intercourse with an unconscious person is presumed to be without their consent and is rape. A person is unconscious when he or she lacks the conscious awareness possessed in the normal waking state. The crime of rape or oral copulation of a person who was prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance (or any controlled substance) pertains to the victim’s ability to give legal consent, emphasizing the effect of the intoxicants on the victim’s powers of judgment rather than the physical powers of resistance.
The fact of intoxication, by itself, does not necessarily mean that an individual was incapable of deciding whether to assent to a sexual encounter for purposes of a rape prosecution; the question instead is whether, as a result of such individual’s consumption of drugs, alcohol, or both, she or he was unable to give or refuse consent. Rape by intoxication requires knowledge by the defendant that the victim is incapable of giving consent. If you are accused of “taking advantage” of a person while either of you were intoxicated, you need the assistance of an attorney that is experienced in defending sexual assault cases.
The fact that you were married to the victim is not a defense. If your spouse was forced, or threatened with force, you will be charged with sexual assault against your spouse.
Principals and Accessories
A sexual assault may be the result of a concert of action aided and abetted between perpetrators. A person who is present, aiding and abetting in a sexual assault perpetrated by another, is equally guilty with the actual perpetrator of the crime and may be punished equally with the actual perpetrator of the offence. In order to be held liable for the crime, it must be shown that the person had the specific intent to aid the perpetrator. That is, had knowledge of his or her criminal purpose as well as the intent to encourage, facilitate, or instigate the commission of the sexual assault. If you have been accused of being an accessory or abettor to a sexual assault you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Penalties are Severe
Sexual Assault is a Class A Felony and the penalties are quite severe, and under certain circumstances, can include a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if the victim has suffered substantial bodily harm. Even if there has not been substantial bodily harm to the victim, you could still be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 10 years in prison.
If the sexual assault is committed against a child under 16 years of age and there is substantial bodily harm, the sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole. If there is no substantial bodily harm to the child, the sentence is still life in prison, but parole is possible after at least 25 years of the life sentence has been served. If the child was under 14 years of age, there is no parole until a minimum of 35 years of the sentence has been served.
If you have been previously convicted of sexual assault against a child under the age of 16 or any other sexual offence against a child, and are convicted for sexual assault against a person under the age of 16, you will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Other sexual offences against a child include:
- Lewdness with a child;
- Sado-masochistic abuse; or
- Luring a child using a computer, system or network, if punished as a felony.
In any instance, being convicted of sexual assault means a prison sentence. If you have been accused of any type of sexual assault, you need the services of a criminal defense attorney with experience defending sexual assault claims.
Statutory Sexual Seduction is commonly referred to as Statutory Rape. In Nevada it is defined as ordinary sexual intercourse, including oral sex, by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years, or any other sexual penetration committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or ratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of either of the persons.
The penalties for sexual seduction differ depending on the age of the person committing the offense. If the offender is 21 years of age or older it is considered a category C felony and can result in a prison term of up to 5 years. If the offender is under the age of 21 it is considered a gross misdemeanor. The punishment for a gross misdemeanor can be imprisonment in the county jail for up to 364 days.
Being charged with Sexual Assault is an extremely serious matter, and if found guilty, you could face a significant prison sentence and fines, including life in prison without the possibility of parole. Therefore, it is extremely important that you hire an experienced Las Vegas Attorney to defend you. The Wright Law Group, P.C. has more than 25 years of experience, and we understand the seriousness and complex nature of sex crimes cases. Let us help you today! Call us now at (702) 405-0001 to schedule a free consultation.