If you are charged with indecent assault, you should obtain legal advice immediately. Contact us for a free initial consultation.

The offence of indecent assault is set out in Section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The elements are:

  • The accused assaulted the complainant; and
  • At the time of that assault, or immediately before, or immediately after, the accused committed an act of indecency on the complainant/in their presence; and
  • (If the complainant is over 16 years of age) The accused knew that the complainant was not consenting, or realised that there was a possibility that the complainant was not consenting but went ahead anyway, or did not even think about whether the complainant was consenting or not.

An act of indecency is an act with a sexual connotation. This is a question of fact and turns on the circumstances of the case.

The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 5 years if the matter goes to the District Court, imprisonment for 2 years and/or 50 penalty units in the Local Court.

There are a number of related provisions in the Act, including:

  • Section 61M – aggravated indecent assault – maximum penalty 7 years imprisonment with a 5 year standard non-parole period, or 10 years in the case of a complainant under 16 years of age with a standard non-parole period of 8 years.
    • Circumstances of aggravation include being in company, being in a position of authority over the alleged victim, and an alleged victim having a serious physical disability or cognitive impairment.
  • Section 61N – act of indecency – maximum penalty 18 months imprisonment or 2 years in the case of an alleged victim under the age of 16 years.
  • Section 61O – aggravated act of indecency – maximum penalty 3 years imprisonment OR:
    • 5 years in the case of an alleged victim under the age of 16 years
    • 7 years if the alleged victim is under the age of 10 years
    • 10 years in circumstances where the act of indecency is being knowingly filmed for the purposes of the production of child abuse material and where the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years.

As such, it is important to obtain legal advice to maximise your chances of a good outcome at Court. 

If you are seeking legal advice, contact us for a free initial consultation.

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