Nebraska Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the Nebraska Age of Consent?
The Nebraska Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Nebraska are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Nebraska statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16. Punishments may vary depending on both the offender's and the victim's ages.
Nebraska does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.
Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Nebraska, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 16 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old.
The age of consent in Nebraska is based on the following statutes from the Nebraska criminal code:
Nebraska Age Of Consent Law: 28-319. Sexual assault; first degree; penalty.  (1) Any person who subjects another person to sexual penetration (a) without the consent of the victim, (b) who knew or should have known that the victim was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct, or (c) when the actor is nineteen years of age or older and the victim is at least twelve but less than sixteen years of age is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree. (2) Sexual assault in the first degree is a Class II felony. The sentencing judge shall consider whether the actor caused serious personal injury to the victim in reaching a decision on the sentence. (3) Any person who is found guilty of sexual assault in the first degree for a second time when the first conviction was pursuant to this section or any other state or federal law with essentially the same elements as this section shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of twenty-five years in prison. 28-319.01. Sexual assault of a child; first degree; penalty. (1) A person commits sexual assault of a child in the first degree: (a) When he or she subjects another person under twelve years of age to sexual penetration and the actor is at least nineteen years of age or older; or (b) When he or she subjects 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. (2) Sexual assault of a child in the first degree is a Class IB felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison for the first offense. (3) Any person who is found guilty of sexual assault of a child in the first degree under this section and who has previously been convicted (a) under this section, (b) under section 28-319 of first degree or attempted first degree sexual assault, (c) under section 28-320.01 before July 14, 2006, of sexual assault of a child or attempted sexual assault of a child, (d) under section 28-320.01 on or after July 14, 2006, of sexual assault of a child in the second or third degree or attempted sexual assault of a child in the second or third degree, or (e) in any other state or federal court under laws with essentially the same elements as this section, section 28-319, or section 28-320.01 as it existed before, on, or after July 14, 2006, shall be guilty of a Class IB felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years in prison. (4) In any prosecution under this section, the age of the actor shall be an essential element of the offense that must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Nebraska
Nebraska has one statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Nebraska Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Nebraska equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.
|Sexual Assault of a child||Class 1C felony; Class 3A felony||20 to 50 years in prison; 1 to 5 years; $10,000 fine|