What is the penalty for sexual assault?
Sexual assault is an offence in NSW dealt with under s.61I of the Crimes Act 1900. That section reads:
“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. ”
What are the elements of sexual assault?
That the accused:
1. Had sexual intercourse as with another person,
2. Without the consent of the other person and
3. Knowing that the other person did not consent to such intercourse.
The issues in sexual assault trials can be complicated ones. Very often our clients find themselves the victims of fabricated statements made by alleged victims.
We have successfully defended a countless number of clients who were charged with sexual assault, based on bogus complaints to the Police.
What is the penalty for sexual assault?
The penalty for sexual assault can vary, depending on the level of seriousness of the assault, the offender’s criminal history and various other matters.
Sexual intercourse without consent carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. Where it is committed on or after 1 February 2003 it is also subject to a standard non-parole period of 7 years. The courts have always regarded sexual intercourse without consent as a serious offence.
In R v MJR (2002) 54 NSWLR 368 at it was said that sexual assault has generally “come to be regarded as requiring increased sentences … by reason of a change of community attitudes”.
It is likely that, if you found guilty or plead guilty to the offence of sexual assault, you will receive a term of imprisonment as a sentence.
What is Aggravated sexual assault?
Section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900 reads:
(1) Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and in circumstances of aggravation and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.
“circumstances of aggravation” means circumstances in which:
(a) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or
(b) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, 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
(d) the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, or
(e) the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or
(f) the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or
(g) the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment, or
(i) the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.
Sexual Assault committed in circumstances of aggravation carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
What are the defences to sexual assault?
Generally, the defence of the great majority of sexual assault cases fall into 3 categories:
1. The alleged victim consented:
If the alleged victim has given consent to the sexual intercourse, then you cannot be convicted of sexual assault. The defendant must know that the alleged victim was not consenting. It is a defence to sexual assault where the offender believes that the complainant consents.
2. It was not the person accused who committed the offence:
The victim has identified the wrong person as the perpetrator. This can often occur in circumstances where a number of years has passed since the offence. It can also occur in circumstances where the victim was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
3. A sexual assault never occurred:
This defence relies on the proposition that the victim’s complaint is a fabrication.
For more information and case studies of our previous cases, go to:
As always, if you have been charged with sexual assault, it is imperative that you contact an expert sexual assault lawyer immediately.
If you have been charged with the offence of sexual assault, call one of our experienced solicitors at LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299.