Nebraska Revised Statute 28-319

Revised Statutes » Chapter 28 » 28-319
Print Friendly
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.

Source


Cross References

Annotations

1. Constitutionality

2. Defenses

3. Elements

4. Evidence

5. Force

6. Generally

7. Lesser-included offense

8. Sentencing

9. Sexual penetration

10. Miscellaneous

1. Constitutionality

A constitutional amendment adding first degree sexual assault to offenses for which bail may be denied, is constitutional and is not violative of the fourteenth amendment, due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Parker v. Roth, 202 Neb. 850, 278 N.W.2d 106 (1979).

Statute held to be constitutional and not violative of equal protection under the fourteenth amendment. Country v. Parratt, 684 F.2d 588 (8th Cir. 1982).

2. Defenses

For criminal prosecutions brought under subsection (1)(a) of this section, the trial court must instruct the jury on the defense of consent when evidence is produced which, under all of the circumstances, could reasonably be viewed by the jury as an indication of affirmative and freely given consent to sexual penetration by the alleged victim. State v. Koperski, 254 Neb. 624, 578 N.W.2d 837 (1998).

In a charge of sexual assault on a child, it is no defense that the victim engaged in active concealment or misrepresentation of age, and evidence on the issue of the victim's chastity is irrelevant and inadmissible. State v. Campbell, 239 Neb. 14, 473 N.W.2d 420 (1991).

Consent or reasonable mistake as to the age of the victim is not a defense to first degree sexual assault upon a child. State v. Navarrete, 221 Neb. 171, 376 N.W.2d 8 (1985).

3. Elements

Serious personal injury is not an element of first degree sexual assault. It is a factor that a sentencing judge shall take into consideration in imposing sentence. State v. Freeman, 267 Neb. 737, 677 N.W.2d 164 (2004).

The victim's lack of consent is not an element of the crime of sexual assault when the victim is incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct. State v. Rossbach, 264 Neb. 563, 650 N.W.2d 242 (2002).

Intent is not an element of first degree sexual assault as defined by subsection (1) of this section. State v. Trackwell, 244 Neb. 925, 509 N.W.2d 638 (1994).

Only in first degree sexual assault does the State have to prove that the actor subjected the victim to sexual penetration. State v. Narcisse, 231 Neb. 805, 438 N.W.2d 743 (1989).

4. Evidence

Under subsection (2) of this section, before imposition of a sentence on a defendant convicted of first degree sexual assault, a sentencing judge is not required to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the victim has sustained serious personal injury as a result of the sexual assault by the defendant; rather, concerning the question of personal injury to the victim, the judge shall consider information appropriately before the court in the sentencing process. State v. Bunner, 234 Neb. 879, 453 N.W.2d 97 (1990).

5. Force

For use of a firearm to subject a victim to sexual penetration by force or threat of force, it is only necessary that the victim be aware of the firearm's presence; that the assailant, in proximity to the firearm and knowing the firearm's location, has realistic accessibility to that firearm; and that the victim reasonably believes that the assailant will discharge the firearm to harm the victim unless the victim submits to the act of the assailant. State v. Dondlinger, 222 Neb. 741, 386 N.W.2d 866 (1986).

Removing articles of clothing from a sleeping person, physically spreading her legs, and performing nonconsenual cunnilingus is "force" sufficient to violate the statute. State v. Moeller, 1 Neb. App. 1046, 510 N.W.2d 500 (1993).

6. Generally

Cunnilingus, that is, stimulation by the tongue or lips of any part of a female's genitalia, is an act which may subject the actor to prosecution for first degree sexual assault. Once the perpetrator's lips or tongue touches any part of the female's genitalia, the act of cunnilingus is complete, irrespective of any actual penetration of the genitalia. State v. Brown, 225 Neb. 418, 405 N.W.2d 600 (1987).

Whatever basis there may have been for assuming that the common-law rule of spousal exclusion was applicable under the former rape law of this state, such assumption was effectively abrogated by the Legislature when it enacted this section. State v. Willis, 223 Neb. 844, 394 N.W.2d 648 (1986).

In a prosecution for sexual assault, the prosecutrix may testify on direct examination, if within a reasonable time under all the circumstances after the act was committed she made complaint to another, to the fact and nature of the complaint, but not as to its details. State v. Watkins, 207 Neb. 859, 301 N.W.2d 338 (1981).

It is sufficient if the victim's testimony is corroborated as to material facts and circumstances which support her testimony as to the principal facts at issue. State v. Red Feather, 205 Neb. 734, 289 N.W.2d 768 (1980); State v. Rhodes, 201 Neb. 576, 270 N.W.2d 920 (1978).

7. Lesser-included offense

A trial court is not required to sua sponte instruct on lesser-included offenses, but the trial court may do so if the evidence adduced at trial would warrant conviction of the lesser charge and the defendant has been afforded a fair notice of those lesser-included offenses. State v. James, 265 Neb. 243, 655 N.W.2d 891 (2003).

Either the State or the defendant may request a lesser-included offense instruction where it is supported by the pleadings and the evidence. State v. James, 265 Neb. 243, 655 N.W.2d 891 (2003).

Kidnapping is not a lesser-included offense of first degree sexual assault, nor is sexual assault a lesser-included offense of kidnapping; it is not impossible to commit one of these crimes without having committed the other. State v. Maeder, 229 Neb. 568, 428 N.W.2d 180 (1988).

Sexual assault of a child is not a lesser-included offense of first degree sexual assault of a child. State v. Putz, 11 Neb. App. 332, 650 N.W.2d 486 (2002).

Sexual assault in the second degree is not a lesser-included offense of sexual assault in the first degree. State v. Schmidt, 5 Neb. App. 653, 562 N.W.2d 859 (1997).

Sexual assault in the third degree is not a lesser-included offense of sexual assault in the first degree. State v. Schmidt, 5 Neb. App. 653, 562 N.W.2d 859 (1997).

8. Sentencing

Under subsection (2) of this section, before imposition of a sentence on a defendant convicted of first degree sexual assault, a sentencing judge is not required to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the victim has sustained serious personal injury as a result of the sexual assault by the defendant; rather, concerning the question of personal injury to the victim, the judge shall consider information appropriately before the court in the sentencing process. State v. Bunner, 234 Neb. 879, 453 N.W.2d 97 (1990).

A sentence of thirty-five years without the possibility of parole for first degree sexual assault, second offense, did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. State v. Brand, 219 Neb. 402, 363 N.W.2d 516 (1985).

9. Sexual penetration

When a defendant is charged with first degree sexual assault under this section, the issue is not whether the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim; rather, the issue is whether the defendant achieved even the slightest penetration. State v. Faatz, 234 Neb. 796, 452 N.W.2d 751 (1990).

Only in first degree sexual assault does the State have to prove that the actor subjected the victim to sexual penetration. State v. Narcisse, 231 Neb. 805, 438 N.W.2d 743 (1989).

10. Miscellaneous

Attempted first degree sexual assault on a child is a crime in Nebraska. State v. James, 265 Neb. 243, 655 N.W.2d 891 (2003).

First degree sexual assault under subsection (1)(a) of this section is a general intent crime. State v. Sutton, 16 Neb. App. 287, 741 N.W.2d 713 (2008).

Whether expert testimony is required to prove that a victim is physically or mentally incapable of consenting to or appraising the nature of the sexual contact is to be determined on a case-by-case basis; it was not required when a psychotherapist who specialized in treating sexually abused children used his training and experience to abuse his stepdaughters. State v. Collins, 7 Neb. App. 187, 583 N.W.2d 341 (1998).