Sexual assault refers to the an instance where sexual intercourse has occurred with a person without their consent, and knowing that their consent has not been given.
Sexual assaults are considered to be very serious offences and can place an offender on a Sexual Offenders Registry and lead to time in Prison.
The legislation includes a number of ‘sexual assault offences’ with different elements and considerations.
Engaging the right Sexual Assault Lawyers is an important first step to defending any allegation which is made against you
What does the Prosecution have to prove?
In order for an accused person to be found guilty of a sexual assault offence, the prosecution must prove the following three (3) elements:
That you have engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim at an alleged time and place
Sexual Intercourse under the Crimes Act includes a number of acts, which includes genital penetration by another person’s body parts, but also includes the penetration of an individual’s genital area by objects which are in the possession of another person. Intercourse also includes Oral Sex by a male or female on another male of female directly. There is no requirement that there was any sexual gratification, wetting or ejaculation from any of the parties to establish the offence.
The victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse
- In order to give consent in sexual assault matters, it must be a ‘free and voluntary’ decision of each party by way of an individual’s actions, orally or otherwise. - ‘Consent’ in certain circumstances is deemed not to have been given in instances where:
The victim is under physical or mental threat or under duress;
The victim suffers from a mental impairment;
The victim is passed out asleep or unconscious;
The victim is severely affected by drugs or alcohol;
The victim is under the age of consent (16 in NSW).
The Accused knew the victim did not consent and continued, or the accused was reckless as to that consent.
It must be proven against the accused that they did not have any ‘reasonable
grounds’ to believe that the victim was consenting.
When looking at consent, the Judge or Jury will look at the Accused’s and Victim’s conduct before the alleged offence, during the alleged offence and after the alleged offence.
That is why it is so important to contact a Sydney Sexual Assault Lawyer as soon as possible after you are charged or suspect that you will be charged, as there is often electronic or other evidence which needs to be preserved to ensure an Accused receives a fair Trial and to ensure they can establish the strongest Defence possible.
What are the penalties for Sexual Assault matters? What are the penalties for Sexual Intercourse without consent matters?
The maximum penalties for certain offences of Sexual Intercourse without consent includes Life Imprisonment.
However, these are the most serious and significant offences and would need to occur on a minor of a very young age.
Statistics demonstrate that penalties for sexual assault offences will range from 12 months to 25 years imprisonment.
An Intensive Corrections Order which is an alternative to Gaol (jail) is not available for many sexual offences and accordingly the Court can only impose a Community Correction Order (equivalent of a good behaviour bond) or a term of ‘full-time custody’ (Prison).
At Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, we have had great success with many Sexual Assault matters, with many of our clients being found not guilty or alternatively negotiating a favourable plea deal and leading to our clients avoiding prison as a result of their conduct.