In the Australian Legal System, sexual offences are among the most severely punished offences. The term “sexual offences” covers a wide range of offences, including variations of sexual assault, indecent assault and acts of indecency. These offences, particularly those of increased severity, are considered as acts of violence as they generally involve some form of violation, force or assault.
Legislation & Penalties
In accordance to section s61I of the Crimes Act 1900, the following elements are involved in the concept of sexual assault (rape), and it’s various forms:
- Sexual Intercourse
- Lack of consent
- Knowledge of lack of consent
- Maximum penalty for standard sexual assault offence: 14 years imprisonment
- Standard non-parole period of 7 years
Aggravated Sexual Assault s61J Crimes Act 1900
As per s61J(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), circumstances of aggravation are:
- if the offender at the time of, or immediately before or after committing the offence:
- intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or another person whom is present or nearby
- 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;
- deprives the alleged victim of their liberty.
- the alleged offender:
- is in company of another person or persons
- breaks into any dwelling-house with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence
- the alleged victim:
- is under the age of 16 years
- is under the authority of the alleged offender
- has a serious physical disability
- has a cognitive impairment
- Maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Circumstances and charges of indecent assault may vary. Although there are different levels of severity within indecent, one is always faced with the prospect of severe penalties if found guilty of an indecent assault charge. In accordance to s61L Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), any person who assaults another person and, at the time of, or immediately before or after, the assault, commits an act of indecency on or in the presence of another person, has committed the offence of indecent assault.
- Maximum sentence upon conviction: 5 years imprisonment
- Maximum sentence when being dealt with in the Local Court: 2 years imprisonment
- Good behavior bond, suspended sentence and community service are also possible penalties
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is found under s61M of the Crimes Act and include:
- Any person who assaults another person in circumstances of aggravation* and at the time of, or immediately before or after committing the offence commits an act of indecency in the presence of the other person;
- Any person who assaults another and at the time or immediately before or after the assault, commits an act of indecency on or in the presence of that person.
* For the sake of this section, circumstances of aggravation are situations where:
- the alleged offender is in the company of another person/s;
- the alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender;
- the alleged victim has a serious physical disability or
- the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment.
- Maximum imprisonment term of 20 years
Being charged with a sexual offence can be quite daunting and overwhelming. Our criminal lawyers have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in defending sexual offence charges, and understand that each case is different. We are willing to do all that it takes to successfully defend your case. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals.