A charge of battery with intent to commit sexual assault is extremely serious. If convicted, this crime is a felony in the state of Nevada and the penalties can include life in prison. Cases of this nature can be very complex and require a thorough understanding of the events that led to an accusation. Anyone charged with this crime should be aware of the importance that they immediately seek the counsel of an attorney with the professionalism and experience to defend against such weighty allegations.
Defining Battery with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault
In Nevada, the term “sexual assault” actually refers to the crime of rape, which is treated as the second most serious crime after murder. Sexual assault is legally defined in the Nevada Revised Statutes as an act in which “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, or on a beast, 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”. (NRS 200.366) Battery is defined in the NRS as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another” (NRS 200.400).
The penalties for battery in Nevada are more serious when it can be determined that the crime was committed with the intention of further criminal activity. This can include sexual assault, theft or even homicide. The act of battery and the act of sexual assault are really separate crimes – however, in cases of battery with the intent to commit sexual assault, they are linked.
The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault Crimes in Nevada
The state of Nevada has placed a four year long statute of limitations on crimes of sexual assault (NRS 171.085), which means that either the victim or the authorized guardian of the victim of an alleged sexual assault is required to file the incident with the police within four years of the date of the incident in question. If this is not done within the four years following the alleged assault, a case involving the assault will usually be dismissed.
It is important to note that if the alleged victim does file their report with the police within the four year limitation period following the alleged assault, then they will have met the requirement which would negate any further time restraints placed on bringing charges against the accused offender. (NRS 171.083) There is also, however, an allowance made if the alleged victim suffers from a disability during the standard four year limitation period, meaning that if they were “insane, intellectually disabled, mentally incompetent or in a medically comatose or vegetative state” (NRS 171.083.4) during that time, their four year period will be extended to cover the amount of time during which they were considered to be disabled.
Penalties for Battery with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault
For the conviction of battery with intent to commit sexual assault, the penalties are steep and also dependent on the specifics of the alleged crime. The penalty for a sexual assault in Nevada is determined based on the following factors:
● The victim’s age
● Whether or not the victim sustained substantial bodily harm as a result of the sexual assault
● Any criminal history of the accused offender
In cases involving the substantial harm or strangulation of the victim, the crime is a category A felony and the penalty is one of the following:
● Life in prison with possible parole after 10 years served
● Life in prison without the possibility of parole
● Up to $10,000 in possible fines
For cases in which there was no substantial bodily harm or strangulation, the crime is a category A felony and the penalty is one of the following:
● From 2 years to life in prison with possible parole if the victim was 16 or older.
● From 5 years to life in prison with possible parole if the victim was under 16.
● Up to $10,000 in possible fines
Defending Charges of Battery with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault
There are several approaches to defending such a serious charge. Some of the most commonly used defenses include:
Insanity– To effectively plead insanity in Nevada, three things must be proven before the defendant can be relieved of liability for the crime they are accused of committing. These are:
1. That the accused was suffering from a mental defect or disease during the time the incident in question took place and during which the battery and intent to sexually assault occurred.
2. That the delusional state of mind during the alleged incident kept them from being able to understand the criminal aspects or nature of their actions.
3. That the delusion, if truthful, would justify the actions of the accused of committing battery with intent to commit sexual assault.
Self Defense – If it can be sufficiently proven that the accused had a legitimate reason to believe that the alleged victim meant to cause them immediate substantial bodily harm or death, the charge of battery will be recognized as self defense. This justifies the alleged battery of the alleged victim.
Insufficient Evidence – Providing the proof required to convince a jury that the accused is guilty without any reasonable doubt is the job of the prosecution. If their evidence is lacking and unconvincing, the alleged offender should be acquitted of this charge.
If you or a loved one have been charged with the crime of battery with intent to commit sexual assault, it is very important that you seek the experienced and professional counsel of an attorney capable of building an effective defense to such a serious charge. We encourage you to contact our offices today for a free case evaluation. The sooner you speak with an attorney about your charges, the sooner you can be sure that not only are your rights being protected but also that your side of the story is being heard.