Nevada Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Signed into Law
Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 176 (AB176), the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, into law on June 7, 2019. With this law, survivors of sexual assault have several rights:
- The right to know whether an analysis of an evidence kit produced DNA from a defendant;
- The right to consult with an advocate during a forensic medical examination or interview with a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or defense attorney; and
- The right to be protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of defendant. This includes the court making efforts to provide the survivor, family, friends and witnesses of the survivor a secure waiting area or room that’s separate from the defendant.
On top of these and other rights of the survivor, the Bill extends the retention of sexual assault evidence kits to 20 years. With the rights of survivors in mind, here’s what you need to know about sexual assault accusations and how to protect your own rights.
What You Need to Know About Sexual Assault Accusations
The biggest hurdle for a defendant involved in a sexual assault case is the fact that physical evidence is not necessary in order to be convicted of the crime. The accuser’s statement alone is enough evidence to obtain a conviction if the person is believed beyond a reasonable doubt. This does not mean that defendants do not deserve the opportunity to be heard and treated fairly by the police, the prosecutors and the court.
If you’re facing a sexual assault allegation, you need an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Sure, sexual assault cases are complex with a myriad of legal issues. But there are two primary strategies and defenses your attorney can use to dispute the allegation and prevent a conviction:
Consent is simply an agreement to do something or the permission for something to happen. If your accuser is legally able to consent (because they are over 18 years of age); and factually able to consent (meaning that the accuser cannot be so intoxicated that they are not able to voluntarily consent) and the accuser willingly participated and allowed it to happen, your behavior is not considered criminal.
In sexual assault cases, proving consent boils down to your word against your accuser’s. Evidence your attorney may use to prove consent include showing statements from your accuser in the form of emails or text messages. Videos may also be used as evidence in proving consent.
- False Allegations
A report in October 2018, shows that the Las Vegas Justice Court dropped the sexual assault charges of four California dentists. The case was dismissed after cell phone videos and other facts revealed the allegations were “completely fabricated.”
It’s important to note that some accusers make false accusations for various reasons — financial gain, for attention or purely out of anger. If your accuser is falsely accusing you of sexual assault, the accuser is not the victim – you are.
Accused of Sexual Assault in Nevada? A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If someone is accusing you or someone you know of sexual assault in Las Vegas, contact Lobo Law now. Adrian Lobo is an experienced Las Vegas sexual assault attorney with over a decade of handling sexual assault cases. She will work with you to develop the best defense for your case and get you the results you deserve. Call Lobo Law at 702-290-8998 to schedule a consultation today.