Bill would close loophole in Nevada’s student-teacher sex laws

Nevada lawmakers discussed a bill Thursday that would prevent teachers from pursuing sexual relationships with students younger than 18 at other schools who met through the teacher’s school duties.

Current law bars teachers from having sex with anyone younger than 18 at their own schools, but it doesn’t address sex with students ages 16-18 elsewhere. Therefore, a student or teacher can move to a different school to continue a relationship. The age of consent in Nevada is 16.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, D-Las Vegas, the bill’s sponsor, presented Assembly Bill 377 to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Assembly already has approved the measure.

“This (bill) prevents a person from moving to continue an illegal situation,” she said. “We want to maintain a professional work environment, and that helps all have a good working environment and a good, strong student-teacher relationship.”

The bill would prohibit sexual relationships between school employees and any student younger than 18 if they come in contact through the employee’s school duties. One example presented to the committee was a basketball coach who meets a cheerleader from another school at a school game.

Because the contact came during the coach performing his duties, a sexual relationship would be illegal if the cheerleader were not at least 18.

“The crux of this bill is a person using their position and authority over someone else to spur a sexual relationship,” said John Jones of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

The committee took no action on the bill.


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