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Nevada Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Most states prohibit certain types of consensual sexual activity. While statutory rape seems to involve consenting partners, minors have no legal ability to give consent. In Nevada, prohibited consensual activity laws are mostly limited to public lewdness and obscenity. Also, victims of sexual assault may request that their convicted attacker be tested for HIV.

Details about Nevada's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed below. See FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for related information.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to Both sexes
Penalty for Sodomy 201.190 Crime against nature: Category D felony Imprisonment 1-4 years (applies only to sodomy in public)
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 201.205 Intentional transmission of HIV: Category B felony 441A.320 As soon as practical after a person is arrested for a crime in which the victim alleges involved sexual penetration, the arrestee will be tested for HIV
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts 201.210 Open or gross lewdness: gross misdemeanor 1st offense; subsequent offense category D felony
201.220 Indecent exposure: gross misdemeanor 1st offense; subsequent offense category D felony
207.030 Engage in lewdness in public/prostitution: misdemeanor

History of Prohibiting Consensual Sexual Activity

Although the laws may seem antiquated today, there is a long history of prohibiting many forms of consensual sexual activity. Some of the most well-known laws include those prohibiting homosexuality. Many states had already repealed or struck down anti-homosexuality and anti-sodomy laws on their own. However, in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a Texas law that prohibited homosexual acts. As a result of the decision in that case, sodomy laws were struck down in thirteen other states as well. However, this Supreme Court decision did not strike down all laws that prohibit consensual sexual activity.

Nevada Prohibitions of Consensual Sexual Activity

Even after the Lawrence v. Texas case, some states still have not repealed their bans on sodomy. Nevada (at least partially) is among those states. Nevada's criminalization of sodomy applies only to sodomy in public. Nevada's current prohibitions on consensual sexual activity fall under sex crimes.


Nevada currently prohibits lewd sexual activity. The law defines the prohibited activities as sexually offensive acts that are likely to be observed by non-consenting persons who are affronted by the acts. This generally encompasses exposing one's genitals to a non-consenting person. The law makes the punishment for this crime more severe when the offender intentionally exposes his or herself to a child, or a person with a mental disability.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is a commonly known form of consenting sexual activity that is usually prohibited by law. Both sexual partners consent to the sexual activity, but one of them is underage, and the other is at least eighteen years old. Although both partners consent to the sexual activity in fact, the underage partner is not legally old enough to consent to the sexual activity. Many states have different ages for the age of consent to sexual activity. Nevada prohibits sexual activity between someone age sixteen or younger with someone who is age eighteen or older.

If you would like to know more about laws prohibiting consensual sexual activity, you may want to speak with a Nevada attorney with criminal law experience in your area.

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