Consequences of Lewdness with a Minor
Aside from being strongly frowned upon by society, engaging on lewdness with a minor brings severe punishments. In Nevada (as stated in the Nevada Revised Statutes, particularly NRS 201.230), the definition of lewdness with a minor is basically when a person willfully commits a sexual act to a child under the age of 14 with the aim to arouse or gratify the minor. It does not matter how the lewdness was performed or if the victim was permissive of the act; any form of bodily contact with evident sexual passion is considered lewdness.
According to The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy (NICRP), there were 3,117 substantiated cases of sexual assault to children from June 2016 to July 2017. An alarming rate which is why similar to other states, lewdness with a child is a crime with felony charges and if proven guilty, you will have to spend time in prison and register yourself as a sex offender. This case destroys lives—not only the lives of the victim and the offender, but also the lives of the people around them.
Lewdness is a touchy subject matter. Here is a helpful guide on how to deal with it in case you encounter it in the future.
What amounts to lewdness with a minor?
As stated before, the meaning of lewdness is an act done of an individual to a child under 14 years old with an objective to fill sexual desires of either of the two. Contrary to what many know, a child can also be charged with lewdness. A child under 14 touching another child of the same age bracket will be awaiting particular punishments.
Lewdness is also different from statutory rape. Statutory rape involves penetration while lewdness does not. Lewdness covers any type of sexual contact and it does not necessarily involve the private parts of the body. For example, a person touches a child’s thigh. If this stimulates the child, it can be counted as one of the instances that make up the entire lewd conduct.
What are the charges for lewdness with a minor?
Lewdness with a minor is a felony in the state of Nevada and it holds certain penalties one must endure if found guilty of the crime.
Usually a first offense is category A felony and entails:
- Life imprisonment possibly in the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) with parole possible after ten years of incarceration.
- Fines of at least $10,000
- Registration as a sex offender
Note that the parole is only applicable if the incarcerated have no previous sexual charges.
You can also be charged with lewdness with a minor even if years had passed since the lewd act was committed and the minor is now of legal age. The statute of limitations regarding this case in Nevada is extended up to almost 40 years old.
If it happens that the minor is not under 14 years old, say 15 or 16, a lesser charge of Category B felony should be imposed. It is comprised of:
- 1 to 10 years in prison, probably in the Clark County Detention Center
- Fines of not more than $10,000
- Registration as a sex offender
The biggest catch in this crime is the sex offender status. You can have the chance to be paroled after 10 years and you can pay fines but you cannot escape a sex offender registration easily as you will have to be in the list for 25 years in the Nevada Sex Offender Registry. Clearly, this will affect your chances of getting a job and will also take a toll in your relationships with people and the rest of the society. Furthermore, it can cause a great deal of mental and, eventually, physical turmoil.
What to do against false lewdness accusations?
Being accused with lewdness with a minor is a truly scary situation to be in. Due to the fierce scrutiny from the society, you will feel completely helpless and shameful, even if you have not done anything wrong. Nonetheless, you should know that this is not exactly true as you can still find ways to defend yourself and come out innocent in the end. Of course, you need to gather all the help that you can get. A criminal defense attorney that is well-versed in the field and a family that is willing to support you are individuals that you would want by your side.
First, children can be unreliable when it comes to testimonies. They can have poor judgment and sometimes blur what is factual and what is something imagined. There are several cases of people being falsely convicted of lewdness only to be acquitted when it is discovered that a child only fabricated the stories.
Trust the court. They are used to lewdness accusations and they will make thorough analysis to find out if a child is making up false allegations like using a specialist to deduce if the child is telling the truth.
With this notion, you should be brave in contesting the stories that the child is saying. Argue that there might be a root cause that makes the child spew wrong statements such as neglect or abuse in other areas. Obviously, you will need hard evidence if you are going for this route. Often, attorneys use tactical questions to discover hidden truths in a child’s testimony.
Aside from this, you can challenge the supposed sexual intent. You can prove that there is no clear evidence of sexual advancement and that the plaintiff had misread the situation. If you have been suddenly accused of a lewdness that happened years ago, you could counter that the alleged victim was already of age during the encounter. The age of consent in Nevada is 16 years old.
A brief sexual encounter with a child can follow you for the rest of your life. To avoid being imprisoned and registering yourself as a sex offender, do not commit lewdness with a minor at all. If you are unlawfully accused of lewdness however, you should seek the aid of a criminal defense attorney to help regain of your liberty and eliminate the stigma that is surrounding you.