In Nebraska, sexual assault accusations carry significant consequences for all parties involved, both in the immediate and long-term aftermath.
The mere allegation can result in severe personal, professional, and legal ramifications for the accused. Many people face reputational damage, regardless of the veracity of the claims.
Professionally, those accused of sexual assault might face suspension, job loss, or difficulty finding future employment.
Legally, if convicted, the accused can face imprisonment, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and a lasting criminal record. Even if acquitted, the emotional and financial toll of legal proceedings can be overwhelming.
For the accuser and community, such accusations can be polarizing, with ripple effects spreading distrust and concern.
It’s crucial for institutions and the legal system in Nebraska to handle these matters sensitively for the victim and the accused.
Sexual Assault Laws Nebraska
Sexual assault laws aim to strike a delicate balance between protecting victims and upholding the rights of the accused.
These clearly defined, and strictly enforced laws are particularly important in a largely rural state like Nebraska, where community ties are strong and reporting assault can carry a social stigma.
Collectively safeguarding these rights helps maintain the integrity of the judicial process while seeking justice for victims.
Sexual Assault Definition
In Nebraska, sexual assault is defined as subjecting another person to sexual penetration without consent or when they are incapable of giving consent due to factors like age or mental incapacity.
The state categorizes sexual assault into first, second, and third degrees based on the severity of the act and the circumstances surrounding it.
It’s essential to consult a criminal defense attorney for a comprehensive definition and understanding.
1st-Degree Sexual Assault in Nebraska
In Nebraska, 1st-degree sexual assault is a class II felony, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
A person commits 1st-degree sexual assault if they subject another person to sexual penetration without consent or where the actor knew or should have known that the victim was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
The law also applies if the perpetrator is 19 or older and the victim is at least 12 but less than 16.
Those who are found guilty of sexual assault in the first degree for a second time are subject to a mandatory minimum term of twenty-five years in prison.
The legislation emphasizes “without consent” as a crucial element, making it an offense even if physical force is not applied.
Examples of 1st-Degree Sexual Assault
A 1st-degree sexual assault charge in Nebraska can stem from various situations. Some examples include the following:
- An individual subjects another person to sexual penetration without consent, either by using physical force or the threat of force.
- An adult who is 19 years or older engages in sexual penetration with a minor who is between 12 and 15 years old, regardless of consent.
- A healthcare provider takes advantage of a patient’s vulnerable condition to engage in non-consensual sexual penetration.
In each scenario, the accused could be charged with 1st-degree sexual assault.
2nd-Degree Sexual Assault in Nebraska
In Nebraska, 2nd-degree sexual assault is a Class IIA felony under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-320.
2nd-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact without consent or contact by someone who knew or should have known that the victim was physically or mentally incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
Sexual assault is in the 2nd-Degree if the act causes serious personal injury to the victim.
3rd-Degree Sexual Assault in Nebraska
Nebraska classifies 3rd-degree sexual assault as a Class I misdemeanor under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-320.
Under the statute, a person is guilty of 3rd-degree sexual assault if they subject another person to sexual contact without their consent or who knew or should have known that the victim was physically or mentally incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
Sexual assault is in the 3rd-degree if the act does not cause serious personal injury to the victim.
Examples of 3rd-Degree Sexual Assault
3rd-degree sexual assault generally involves subjecting another person to sexual contact without consent but typically lacks some of the more serious elements found in 1st and 2nd-degree sexual assault, like force or incapacitation.
An example of 3rd-degree sexual assault may involve the following:
- A person intentionally touches another person’s intimate areas without their consent but does not use force or threats to do so.
Given the life-altering repercussions, having a knowledgeable defense attorney is indispensable for sexual assault cases in Nebraska.
Sexual Assault of a Child in Nebraska
In Nebraska, 1st-degree sexual assault of a child is a class IB felony under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-319.01 with a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison for the first offense.
A person commits 1st-degree sexual assault of a child if they subject another person under twelve years of age to sexual penetration and the actor is at least nineteen years of age or older, or when they subject another person who is at least twelve years of age but less than sixteen years of age to sexual penetration and the actor is twenty-five years of age or older.
In Nebraska, there are three degrees of sexual assault of a child:
- First degree involves the sexual penetration of a minor where the minor is less than 12 years of age and the actor is over the age of 19 or where the minor is over 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the actor is over 25;
- Second degree involves sexual contact (not penetration) with a minor that is less than 14 years of age and the actor is over 19 resulting in serious personal injury to the victim; and
- Third degree involves sexual contact with a minor less than 14 years of age and the actor is over 19 years of age that does not result in serious personal injury to the victim.
Consent is never a defense if the crime involves a child under the age of 16 as a minor is not capable of consent.
Sex Offender Registration
Even a misdemeanor conviction requires a minimum of 15 years registration on the sex offender registration list.
Any other conviction requires a minimum of 25 years sex offender registration, which can increase to lifetime registration if the offense is determined to be an aggravated offense.
Have You Been Charged with a Nebraska Sex Crime?
If you were recently charged with a sex crime, it is imperative that you understand what you’re up against and what you can do to prevent being convicted.
We understand that, after an arrest, you’ve already been through a lot, so we’re not here to judge you or lecture you. We’re here to defend you.