Sexual Assault Charges in Nebraska

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By Attorney Hannah Carroll-Altman

In Nebraska, there are different sexual assault charges you could possibly face. Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault of a Child each have three degrees of severity. They also have age-specific elements, and consent often times is not even considered.

Sexual Assault

There are three different “levels” of Sexual Assault charges in Nebraska:

  • First Degree
  • Second Degree
  • Third Degree

First Degree Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault in the first degree is a Class II Felony, which carries a possible penalty of 1-50 years imprisonment. If an individual has certain prior sexual convictions, sexual assault in the first degree carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment.

First Degree Sexual Assault requires sexual penetration. It can involve either two adults (both 19 years or older) without consent, or it can involve one adult 19-24 years old and a child between the ages of 12-15. In the case of a child between the ages of 12-15, consent does not matter and is not a defense. The law says a child that age is not capable of consenting to sexual conduct.

Second Degree Sexual Assault

Sexual assault in the second degree is a Class IIA Felony, which carries a possible penalty of 0-20 years imprisonment.

Second Degree Sexual Assault only requires sexual contact resulting in serious personal injury to the victim, not sexual penetration. For a charge of Second Degree Sexual Assault, both individuals involved must be 19 years or older.

Third Degree Sexual Assault

Sexual assault in the third degree is the only variation of sexual assault that is a misdemeanor. Third Degree Sexual Assault is a Class I Misdemeanor, which carries a possible penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Third Degree Sexual Assault involves sexual contact between two adults 19 years or older. No serious personal injury to the victim is necessary. These cases often turn on the issue of consent.

Sexual Assault of a Child

Like Sexual Assault charges, Sexual Assault of a Child has three different “levels”:

  • First Degree
  • Second Degree
  • Third Degree

First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child

Sexual Assault of a Child in the first degree is a Class IB felony, which carries a possible penalty of 20 years to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 15 years imprisonment. If an individual has certain prior sexual convictions, Sexual Assault of a Child in the first degree carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment.

First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child requires sexual penetration. It can involve an adult 19 years or older and a child 11 years or younger, or it can involve an adult 25 years or older and a child between the ages of 12-15.

It is important to note that sexual penetration between a 24 year old and a 15 year old is Sexual Assault, with a penalty of at least 1 year imprisonment. However, if sexual penetration occurs between a 25 year old and a 15 year old, that is now Sexual Assault of a Child, carrying a mandatory minimum of 15 years imprisonment.

Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child

Sexual Assault of a Child in the second degree is a Class II Felony, which carries a possible penalty of 1-50 years imprisonment. If an individual has certain prior sexual convictions, sexual assault of a child in the second degree becomes a Class IC Felony with a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment, with up to 50 years imprisonment possible.

Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child does not require sexual penetration; it requires only sexual contact resulting in serious personal injury to the victim. It involves an adult 19 years or older and a child 14 years or younger.

Third Degree Sexual Assault of a Child

Sexual Assault of a Child in the third degree is a Class IIIA Felony, which carries a possible penalty of 0-5 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.  If an individual has certain prior sexual convictions, Sexual Assault of a Child in the third degree becomes a Class IC Felony, punishable by 5-50 years imprisonment.

Third Degree Sexual Assault of a Child requires only sexual contact – no sexual penetration or serious personal injury to the victim is necessary. This offense involves an adult 19 years or older and a child 14 years or younger.

Sexual Offender Registry

A conviction for any of the above-mentioned Sexual Assault offenses means the individual also must register as a sex offender. A Third Degree Sexual Assault (the only misdemeanor) conviction requires a 15 year registration. Any felony Sexual Assault conviction requires a 25 year registration; however, if an individual has any prior sexual offense conviction (misdemeanor or felony), the registration is for life.

Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys

Sexual assault charges can be devastating. A sexual assault conviction can change your entire life. If you are facing sexual assault charges, may be in the most important battle of your life. Our team of dedicated sex crimes attorneys have experience defending clients facing criminal charges related to sex crimes. Contact our team today at 402-466-8444 to schedule a confidential case evaluation.

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