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Ex-NBA Star Steve Francis Accused of Inappropriately Touching Woman, No Charges Filed

A 20-year-old female singer is criticizing police for not submitting charges against Ex-NBA star Steve Francis for an incident that occurred more than a year ago. The singer claimed that she was signed to Francis' record label and was talking to him outside when he reached down and grabbed her between her legs, over her clothes. The singer reported that she screamed and her friends, whom she had brought along with her, came to her aid.

In Nevada, the groping an adult woman over her clothes, without more, would ordinarily be considered Open and Gross Lewdness, not Sexual Assault. A Sexual Assault charge requires some form of penetration. NRS 200.366. Penetration is defined as cunnilingus (oral sex on a female), fellatio (oral sex on a man) or an intrusion into the vaginal or anal opening of the victim. NRS 200.364(4). Sexual Assault is a felony and a person convicted of Sexual Assault can face up to Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole, depending on the age of the alleged victim and the severity of injury to the victim, if any. It can also subject the offender to Sex Offender Registration and Lifetime Supervision requirements.

In contrast, a first offense Open and Gross Lewdness in Nevada is a gross-misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in city or county jail. Open and Gross Lewdness is not well defined in Nevada law. In fact, NRS 201.210, simply defines the offense as: "A person who commits any act of open or gross lewdness . . ." A person convicted of Open and Gross Lewdness can be subjected to a period of registration, but is not eligible for Lifetime Supervision.

Being accused of a sex crime can be confusing and frightening. Many people who are wrongfully charged with a sex crime feel betrayed by their accuser. They also feel scared and confused about how to handle the situation. Should they confront the accuser? Should they avoid them? One can imagine ways to prove they did do something, but how does a person prove a negative - that they didn't do something?

If you or someone you know has been accused of an adult or juvenile sexual offense, it is important to contact an experienced Las Vegas Sex Crimes Lawyer right away. The Las Vegas Sex Crimes Attorney can assist you in analyzing the facts of your case, identifying appropriate defenses and developing the most aggressive defense strategy possible to defend your legal rights.