Sexual offences

Indecent assault / Aggravated indecent assault

Indecent assault is committed when a person 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 the other person. Under section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. Conduct that might constitute indecent assault includes:

  • Intentional touching of breasts, anus, vagina or penis, even if over clothing
  • Kissing, when made clear that it is unwanted
  • Rubbing your groin intentionally against another person who has not given consent

Aggravated indecent assault under section 61M of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is committed when a person commits an indecent assault in aggravated circumstances which include:

  • Being in company with others
  • Where the alleged victim is under the persons authority
  • Where the alleged victim has a serious physical disability
  • Where the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment

The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment if the victim is under 16 years of age and 7 years imprisonment if the victim is 16 years of age or older. There is a standard non-parole period of 5 years imprisonment for this offence.

Act of Indecency / Aggravated Act of Indecency

This offence is committed when a person commits an act of indecency with or towards another person. The indecent act is one which a reasonable person would consider to be unacceptable or against community standards. You can also be charged if you encourage another person to commit the act. Under section 61N of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW), the maximum penalty for the offence is 2 years imprisonment if the victim is under 16 years of age, or 18 months’ imprisonment if the victim is 16 years or older.

Examples of acts of indecency include:

  • Exposing your genitals in front of a child
  • Masturbating in a public place where people are present
  • Sending pictures of your genitals to another person

Sections 61O(1) and 61O(1A) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) set out the offence of aggravated act of indecency. The offence is committed when an act of indecency is committed in circumstances of aggravation which include:

  • Being in company with others
  • Where the alleged victim is under the persons authority
  • Where the alleged victim has a serious physical disability
  • Where the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment

The maximum penalty us 5 years imprisonment where the victim is under 16 years of age and 3 years imprisonment where the victim is 16 years of age or older.

Sexual assault / Aggravated sexual assault

Sexual assault is an offence under section 61I Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The offence of sexual assault is having sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment and there is a standard non-parole period of 7 years. Sexual intercourse is the penetration of the vagina or anus of another person using a body part or any object and includes oral sex.

Aggravated sexual assault is an offence under section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and has a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. The standard non-parole period is 10 years imprisonment. Circumstances of aggravation means circumstances where:

  • the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or
  • 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
  • the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or
  • the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, or
  • the alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender, or
  • the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or
  • the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment, or
  • the alleged offender breaks and enters into any dwelling or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence, or
  • the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

Aggravated sexual assault in company is sexual intercourse with a person who does not consent, knowing that the person has not consented and while in the company of another person and at the time, immediately before or immediately after the commission of offence:

  • threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or another person present or nearby, or
  • threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or another person present or nearby by use of an offensive weapon, or
  • deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

The maximum penalty for this offence under section 61JA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is imprisonment for life with a standard non-parole period of 15 years imprisonment.

There are a number of other sexual offences including:

  • Aggravated sexual intercourse – child aged under 10 years
  • Aggravated sexual intercourse – child aged 10-14 years
  • Aggravated sexual intercourse – child aged under 16 years
  • Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse
  • Attempt sexual intercourse with child under 10 years
  • Sexual intercourse with child aged between 14 and 16 years
  • Sexual intercourse with child aged between 10 and 14 years
  • Sexual intercourse with child under 10 years
  • Sexual intercourse with child under special care

The lawyers at Kingston Fox Lawyers are specialised in criminal law and as former prosecutors know the legal system from both sides. We can advise you on all aspects of your matter and ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for you. 

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