Any form of sexual assault is considered a serious crime in all states in Australia. And being confronted by such allegations can be very alarming and burdensome on the part of the accused. Likewise, sexual assault crimes can have a negative impact on an individual’s character if branded as an assaulter, which is why it is always wise to obtain legal advice from a reputable and experienced criminal defence lawyer. Since sexual misconduct is considered to be a grave offence,  it must be examined and investigated with the utmost dedication and commitment. 

If you are facing a charge or allegedly accused of sexual assault, you need to immediately engage with a criminal defence lawyer expert such as us. Working with a reputable defence lawyer such as us will ensure that your rights are protected and your matter is handled professionally throughout the case. We treat our clients with the utmost respect, ensuring you that all information is treated with supreme confidentiality.  More importantly, our team of lawyers practices with high professionalism and competence, meticulous research, and profound knowledge not only with the general law but also with the court’s ruling process. 

For us, the practice of criminal law is a complete dedication of our service to the community. We take pride in our strong track record to provide you with the best legal advice and options for your case.

Sexual Assault Charges Present In New South Wales

Sexual assault crimes are highly prohibited as well as scrutinised by the NSW legal system. Sex offenders are strongly punished with imprisonment, not to mention the many penalties imposed, such as the collection of large fines, exhaustive probation, and compulsive registration as a sex offender. In New South Wales, in particular, the maximum penalty for the crime is 20 years imprisonment and is governed by the Crimes Act 1900. Moreover, all these crimes are highly based on a lack of consent by the victim. However, anyone can instantly be accused of such crimes and these allegations are not tolerated by the law enforcement authority. 

Sexual assault crimes can include the following offences:

  1. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a term used when a child has been forced into doing sexual things without his or her consent. Moreover, the  Crimes Act 1900 defines how the offender may commit the crime of persistent sexual abuse. Hence, to be found guilty of sexual abuse, it must be proven that the accused has committed any of the elements of the crime such as,

    • an adult who commits an unlawful sexual relationship with a child 
    • the term “unlawful sexual relationship” pertains to the act in which the adult has engaged two or more sexual acts with or toward a child 
    • it is immaterial that any of those unlawful sexual acts occurred outside New South Wales, so long as at least one of the unlawful sexual acts occurred in New South Wales

Sexual acts that are committed to children that are under the age of 10 may face up to the maximum penalty imposed which is imprisonment for life. 

  1. Sexual Touching

According to the New South Wales Consolidated Act, sexual touching is defined as a person touching another person. (1) Sexual touching is considered to be indecent if the person is being touched without his or her consent. This can be done in the following manner,

    • with any part of the body or with anything else, or
    • through anything, including anything worn by the person doing the touching or by the person being touched,
    • in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual.

If proven guilty, the accused may suffer the penalty of years of imprisonment. Moreover, sexual touching can also incur an aggravated circumstance where the accused can face an even higher range of imprisonment. In order for the accused to be convicted, the prosecution must be able to establish the proofs beyond reasonable doubt that,

    • the consent was not freely given by the complainant
    • the complainant is incapacitated  to give consent
    • the complainant was sexually touched
    • the complainant was impelled to touch themselves or to touch a third person
    • a third person was incited to touch the complainant
  1. Indecent Exposure

In New South Wales, indecent or obscene exposure is punishable by the law. This indecent sexual action is committed by someone who willfully exposes his or her nakedness to the public. This will not only apply to the school but to all areas deemed as public. Any violator can commit the act in a park, road, public buildings, and in any public place. Moreover, individuals can be penalised for indecent exposure even in their home premises, as long as there are people in the public who have witnessed such an illicit act.

  1. Sexual Act

As defined by the Crimes Act 1900, a sexual act (other than Sexual Touching) carried out in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the act to be sexual. Any person guilty of this offence will face a maximum of 18 months imprisonment. To be found guilty of such a crime, the prosecution must be able to establish that the accused, without consent, intentionally committed the following,

    • carried out a sexual act towards the complainant
    • impelled the complainant to carry out a sexual act towards the accused, or  towards a third person
    • impelled a third person to carry a sexual act towards the complainant

Sexual acts committed to children toward children will be penalized much higher. 

  1. Incest

Crimes Act 1900 section 78A defines incest as any person who has sexual intercourse with a close family member who is of or above the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for up to 8 years. Section 78A further defines a close family member as is a parent, son, daughter, sibling (including a half-brother or half-sister), grandparent or grandchild, being such a family member from birth.

However, according to NSW Consolidated Acts Section 78 C,  the accused will not be guilty if proven that,(2)

    • that the person charged did not know that the person with whom the offence is alleged to have been committed was related to him or her, as alleged
    • that the person charged did not know that the person with whom the offence is alleged to have been committed was related to him or her, as alleged.
  1. Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined by the Crimes Act 1900 Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for up to 14 years. If under any condition, the accused has committed the crime under circumstances of aggravation, the accused is liable for serving up to 20 years imprisonment. To be found guilty of the charge, the prosecution must establish that the accused committed the elements of the crime. 

 In the case of aggravated circumstance, under the Crimes Act 1900, the accused may be convicted of the following,

    • (a)  at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or
    • (b)  at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument, or
      • (b1)  at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict grievous bodily harm or wounding on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or
    • (c)  the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or
    • (d)  the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, or
    • (e)  the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or
    • (f)  the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or
    • (g)  the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment, or
    • (h)  the alleged offender breaks and enters into any dwelling-house or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence, or
    • (i)  the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

Our criminal defence team can defend you in any of these crimes:

    • Sexual Assault
    • Act of Indecency
    • Indecent Assault
    • Sexual Servitude
    • Child Prostitution
    • Child Abuse Material (Pornography)
    • Sexual Intercourse with a Child
    • Obscene Exposure
    • Voyeurism
    • Incest
    • Bigamy
    • Bestiality

References:

  1. New South Wales Consolidated Act, Crimes Act 1900-Sect 61HB:http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s61hb.html
  2. New South Wales Consolidates, Crimes Act 1900 Sect 78C: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s78c.html

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