Sexual Assault Lawyers in Sydney NSW

Sexual assault refers to situations where you have sexual intercourse with another person without their consent and knowledge that the consent was not given

Consensual

Pleading Not Guilty to Sexual Assault

To be found guilty the prosecution must prove three things:

  1. You have engaged in sexual intercourse with the other person at the time and place alleged
  2. No consent was given
  3. You knew no consent was given, or you were reckless as to consent

Defences to Sexual Assault

There are various defences depending on you circumstances.

  1. Consent (not available for a defence for those under 16 as statutory rape applies)
  2. Proper medical purpose
  3. Self-defence
  4. Necessity
  5. Duress

Pleading Guilty to Sexual Offences

The maximum penalty for sexual assault is 14 year imprisonment and a 7 year non-parole period.

Magistrates and judges in NSW can determine the type of penalty you will receive after you enter a plea of guilty or are found guilty of an offence following a hearing or trial.

Some sentencing options in NSW include:

  1. Section 10
  2. Fine
  3. Good behavior bond
  4. Community service order
  5. Intensive correction order
  6. Home detention
  7. Suspended sentence
  8. Full time imprisonment

Sexual offences in general

More sexual offences have been added to the crimes act.  In recent years they include laws about consent, prior sexual conduct, cross-examination of complainants and accessing information about complainants.
For more information you may book a consultation with us and talk to an experienced sexual assault lawyer.

Indecent assault

Indecent assault occurs where one person touches another person in a sexual manner without their consent or permission.

Pleading Not Guilty

To prove this the prosecution will look at the following:

  1. The assault took place
  2. It was indecent
  3. Consent was not given
  4. You knew there was no consent given and was reckless with regard to it

Some commonly raised defences are:

  1. Where consent was given
  2. Where there was proper medical purpose
  3. You were coerced or threatened into committing the indecent assault

Pleading guilty

The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.  It is 2 years if it is heard in the local court in NSW.  Our experienced criminal lawyers would push for it to be heard there to attract a less severe punishment.

The Common statistics show that section 9 good behavior bond is the most common penalty.

Aggravated indecent assault

Similar to offence of indecent assault, however, it is more serious as it involves circumstances of aggravation.

Pleading Not Guilty

There are four circumstances of aggravation:

  1. Two or more people were present at time of offence
  2. The complainant is under your authority
  3. The complainant has a serious intellectual disability
  4. The complainant has a serious physical disability

On top of the aggravating circumstances the prosecution also need to prove indecent assault based on the elements mentioned above.

Defences

There are some defences which include:

  • Consent
  • There was proper medical purpose
  • You were coerced or threatened into committing the aggravated indecent assault (duress)

Pleading Guilty

If you plead guilty the maximum penalty is 7 year imprisonment.  If the complainant is under the age of 16 years old then the maximum penalty is higher at 10 year imprisonment.

If your case is trialed in the local court of NSW the maximum penalty is only 2 years imprisonment.  It is advised that you contact our experience criminal lawyers so that we can push for your case to be hear in the local court which will attract a less severe sentence.

The average sentence is only 12 months and 3 weeks imprisonment with an 8 month non-parole period.

The average sentence in higher courts is 2 years and 11.5 months imprisonment with a 1 year and 6.5 month non-parole period.

Aggravated sexual assault:

Similar to sexual assault but is more serious and involves circumstances of aggravation.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you plead not guilty the prosecution will need to prove 3 elements

  1. That you dad sexual intercourse
  2. It was without consent
  • You had knowledge that it was non consensual

On top of this they will also need to prove that there were aggravating circumstances.

Pleading Guilty

If you plead guilty the matter will be dealt with in higher court such as the district or Supreme Court of NSW.

The maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years.

The average sentence is 7 years imprisonment with a 4 year non-parole period.

Circumstances of aggravation

circumstances of consent

Aggravating Circumstances

The prosecution must prove at least one of the following in addition in order to satisfy the aggravation element:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm upon other person
  2. Made threats to other person to use weapon or instrument
  3. Two or more people were present at the time of offence
  4. Complainant was under 16
  5. Position of authority over complainant
  6. Complainant had a serious cognitive impairment
  7. Complainant has a serious physical disability
  8. Committed a break and enter
  9. Complainant was deprived of their liberty before or after the offence

Aggravated sexual assault in company

This charge refers to serious sexual offences such as gang rapes where more than one person is involved.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you plead not guilty the prosecution will be required to prove 3 elements:

  1. Had sexual intercourse
  2. Without consent
  3. Knowledge of no consent

On top of this they will need to prove that the offence occurring in company and there was aggravating circumstances.

Pleading Guilty

If you plead guilty your charge will be heard in the District or Supreme Court of NSW.

The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.  If actual bodily harm was intentionally or recklessly inflicted during the aggravated sexual assault in company then the average sentence is 12.5 years.  This includes offenders under the age of 18 years old.

If weapon or instrument was used the average sentence is 12 years imprisonment.

In circumstances where the victims liberty was deprived the average sentence is 15 years.

Consultation Strictly Appointment Only

Child Sexual Abuse Materials

This includes materials and engaging in child abuse and sexual abuse of children.

child abuse

Child Abuse

Pleading Not Guilty

If you are pleading not guilty the prosecution needs to prove that you possess offensive material which depicts the following:

  1. A child that is victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse
  2. A child engaged in a sexual pose of activity
  3. A child in presence of another person that is engaged in a sexual pose of activity
  4. The private parts of child

It is a requirement that the prosecution prove you produced, disseminated or possessed child abuse material.  The definitions are provided below:

  1. Production includes the filming, photographing, exhibition or transmission of child abuse material as well as cases where you enter into an agreement to produce material
  2. Dissemination includes the supply, exhibition or transmission of materials, and agreement and arrangements to supply
  3. Possession refers to the materials being under your control or custody. This includes materials found on your computer or in your home

Defences to Child Abuse

Listed below are some defences to child abuse:

  1. Lack of knowledge
  2. Approved research
  3. Law enforcement officer
  4. Public benefit
  5. Classified material

Pleading Guilty

If you plead guilty your case will be heard at court.  It can be heard in the local courts of NSW or in a higher court.

The maximum penalty in higher courts is 10 years imprisonment.  The maximum penalty in the District Courts of NSW is 2.5 years and a 12 month non-parole period.

The local courts have the less severe penalties.  The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.  The average being 12 months and a 6 month non-parole period.  For the best chance of getting a lower sentence and having your case heard in the local court you should book a consultation with once our experience criminal lawyers who will be able advise you every step of the way.

Determination

The courts will look at the surrounding circumstances of your offence.  Some factors that may also impact the penalty that you receive are listed below:

  • Level of planning,
  • Whether you acted alone or in a network
  • The number of people involved
  • Whether you received payment of not?
  • The amount of abusive material and number of children
  • Was it for personal use or distribution
  • Were children actually involved? i.e. drawing of child ect
  • The age of child and type of sexual activity
  • The seriousness of cruelty or physical suffering depicted
  • The extent of you contribution
  • The risk of being seen by vulnerable persons i.e. children

Child Sex Offences

This offence involves having sexual intercourse with a child.  The Crimes Act separates offenses for aggravating circumstances which are more serious.

Sexual intercourse with a child

The penetration of the female genitalia of anus or cunnignlingus.  This also includes having sex with a boy.

Pleading Not guilty

If you plead not guilty the prosecution will need to prove 2 elements:

  1. Sexual intercourse took place, and
  2. It was with a child

Defences that are applicable include the following:

  • You didn’t know the person was a child
  • You were coerced or threatened into committing the offence

Pleading guilty

The maximum penalty depends on the age of the child.

If the child was under the age of 10 the maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment.

If the child is between the ages of 10-14 the maximum penalty is 16 years imprisonment.

If the child is between the ages of 14-16 the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

The courts will also assess the seriousness of the offence and consider the circumstances which may include:

  1. The period of time over which the incidents took place
  2. How many incidents took place
  3. How you coerced the child and whether you abused a position of trust.  For example a teacher or family member
  4. Whether any threats involved
  5. The impact on child
  6. Whether you were the victim of sexual abuse yourself as a child

Aggravated Sexual Intercourse with a child:

This involves intercourse with a child in circumstances of aggravation and are more serious.

Pleading Not Guilty

For the prosecution to prove this an addition factor of aggravation must be present.  Here are 9 likely factors that may be considered:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm upon child
  2. Threatened to inflict actual bodily harm on child
  3. Two or more people present at time of offence
  4. Child was under your authority
  5. Child had a serious physical disability
  6. Child has a serious cognitive impairment
  7. Committed a break and enter
  8. Child deprived of their liberty before or after your offence
  9. Took advantage of child under influence of drugs of alcohol

Pleading Guilty

The maximum penalty depends on the age of the child.

If the child was under the age of 10 the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

If the child is between the ages of 10-14 the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment.

If the child is between the ages of 14-16 the maximum penalty is 13 years imprisonment.

 

The Court will also factor the following when making their determination:

  • Period
  • How many incidents
  • Coercion or not? Position of power
  • Threats involved?
  • Impact on child
  • Sexual abuse as a child

Sexual Intercourse with a Child in Special Care

This refers to a child that is between the ages of 16-18 who is in special care.

The prosecution is required to prove 3 elements:

  1. Sexual intercourse occurred
  2. The person was between 16-18 years of age
  • The child was in special care i.e. parent, guardian, teacher

Penalties

If the child is 16 year old the maximum penalty is 8 years imprisonment

If the child is between the ages of 17-18 the maximum penalty is 4 years imprisonment

Procuring, Grooming or meeting a child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity

Here there are three elements that need to be satisfied in order to be charged with this offence. 

  1. Procured, groomed or met definitions:
  • Procure means the attempt for sexual activity
  • Groomed means exposing child to indecent material or drugs/alcohol
  • Met means intentionally meeting up with child with intention to procure child for sex

2. Child under age of 16 also includes people pretending to be children. For example the belief that they are a child is sufficient

  • For unlawful sexual activity refers to any attempted sexual activity of any type

Penalties

For procuring the maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment if the child is under 14 years old.  If the child is older than 14 years of age the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment.

For grooming the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment if the child is under 14 years old.  If the child is older than 14 years of age the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment.

Other factors that the courts will look into are:

  • If money was offered
  • Was the child pursued for a period of time
  • Age of the child
  • Age difference of the child and the offender
  • Steps taken to conceal identity

Conclusion

We as extensive experience working and achieving great results for our clients involved in sexual assault cases.  If you have been charged with an offence you need the best criminal lawyer. Book a consultation with us and we will be there every step of the way to defend your innocence.

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