Children and teenagers can also be the perpetrators of sexual abuse to other juveniles. In Nevada, there is a growing attention to the offense as evident from the state’s continuous revision of the law surrounding it.
Recently, the Adam Walsh Act is in full implementation where juvenile sex offenders can register separately from adult offenders and will also exempt them from being listed online to protect their identity, granted they meet requirements regulated by the court.
Still, a juvenile sex offense holds certain consequences a young person needs to face and we will talk about them on this article.
What counts as a juvenile sex offense in Nevada?
In Nevada, a juvenile sex offense was committed if the offender was 15 years old or younger and the victim was also of the same age bracket. Sexual offense varies in nature but according to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 62F, they can be sexual assault, battery with sexual assault, indecent exposure, pornographic offense, open and gross lewdness, and lewdness with another child. These are similar to the sexual violations an adult can do, however, juveniles are investigated and tried differently by the court. The penalties are more lenient and castigatory than what you can see on adult sexual offense cases.
If your child is under accusation of sexual offense in Nevada and has the probability of being a registered juvenile sex offender, it is important to work with a criminal defense attorney operating in Las Vegas and other distant counties to know the steps on what to take and what kind of trial and charges your child can get as sexual offense can be complicated due to the many factors at play.
What are the charges for juvenile sex offenders in Nevada?
Depending on the scale and nature of the sexual offense, a juvenile offender can either be imposed with lighter charges or the same heavy ones given to adult offenders.
The Nevada Juvenile Justice Systems works differently than the justice system where adults are tried. First off, they have no jury trials and initially, all crimes are considered as non-criminal. But this can change once the prosecutor deems the crime to be too serious to remain in the juvenile court. When this happens, a prosecutor will apply for the case to be certified and tried as an adult case.
Usually, sexual assault without consent or rape and aggravated sexual offenses are the more serious crimes that can drive a prosecutor to file a motion in the court. The court will then conduct its own investigation and decide from there. When approved, the juvenile sex offender will undergo trial procedures reserved for adults and will have to be exacted with heftier sentences.
However, if the offense is less severe, the case will not be transferred to the adult court and the juvenile sex offender will receive particular penalties like detention in facilities or home under supervision, fines, community service, suspension of driver’s license, and being one of the registered sex offenders in Nevada through registering at the Nevada Sex Offender Registry. The case will also produce records that can affect a child’s future job searching and applications to school and financial grants.
Juvenile sex crimes, while offering milder legal burdens, can still impact a child once they’ve reached the age of majority. By then, they will realize the weight they have put upon themselves and their innocent victims.
Conversely, a lot of children can be susceptible to be the offender or the victim due to ignorance to the law and physical and psychological changes. As an adult, we must be vigilant of signs that an incident of sexual abuse happened or is happening to our children.
Sexual offense can happen in schools, playgrounds, and other places where children are gathered. Through an official legislative report by Nevada in 2017, there are 108 juvenile sex offenses recorded in 2016 with four of them involving 9-year-olds. Despite this, most sexual offenses are not reported, making the delinquency harder to curb. To find out more about Nevada’s sex laws about juvenile offenders and victims, you can read the chapter in the NRS dedicated to it here.