At Lawpoint a sexual assault lawyer is available to discuss with you any queries you may have in relation to sexual assault offenses.
What is a sexual assault Offence?
The offence of sexual assault is found in section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). This section states,
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 14 years.
There are 3 principal elements of this offence:
- There must be sexual intercourse
- Without the consent of the other person
- You must know that the other person does not give consent.
What is sexual Intercourse?
For the purpose of this offense sexual intercourse means a sexual connection caused by the penetration to any extent of the genetaila of a female person or the anus of any person by any part of the body of another person, any object used by another person (except where the penetration is carried out for a proper medical purpose) and also includes oral sex by the introduction of any part of the penis of a person into the mouth of another person or cunnilingus.
What is Consent?
Consent is when someone freely and voluntarily, without coercion, intimidation or threat, agrees to sexual intimacy. Sexual partners must receive active consent, it cannot be assumed. Consent can also not be given by a person under false pretences, a person who does not have the capacity to give consent such as a person that is incoherently, asleep, or unconscious.
Additionally, a person who has the sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person knows that they do not have consent if they know, or are reckless about knowing or have no reasonable grounds of believing that the other person has given consent.
What is the penalty for a sexual assault conviction?
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 a maximum imprisonment for 14 years.
What the police must prove
To be convicted for Sexual Assault, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You had sexual intercourse with another person
- That person did not consent
- You knew that person did not consent
Possible ways to defend a charge of Sexual Assault in New South Wales are:
- Denying that sexual intercourse occurred
- Claiming there was consent
- Claiming that there was a reasonable belief that there was consent
Aggravated Sexual Assault
Aggravated sexual assault is considered to be more serious than sexual assault as it involves circumstances of aggravation. Circumstances of aggravation include circumstances such as, at the time of or immediately before or after the offence, intentionally or recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm on the alleged victim, the alleged victim being under the age of 16 or the alleged victim having a cognitive impairment. Aggravated sexual assault holds a maximum imprisonment of 20 years, while the same offence, in company may lead to lifetime imprisonment.
What is the difference between sexual assault and sexual touching
The offence of sexual touching is committed when a person touches a person sexually without their consent. Whether touching is sexual depends on the part of the body touched and the nature of the touching. Sexual touching is what used to be known as indecent assault and is one of the most common sexual offences. This offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
If you have been accused, investigated or arrested for a sexual assault charge then contact Lawpoint. One of our sexual assault lawyers can provide you with specialised legal advice. Call us on (02) 9517 1887 or email us to speak with a sexual assault lawyer Sydney.
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