Are you facing charges for Sexual Assault or Indecent Assault Call 02 9261 8640
If you have been charged with a sexual assault offence in the Gosford Area, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. Our expert criminal defence lawyers can act for you and ensure the best possible outcome.
Sexual Assault Offences
Division 10 of the Crimes Act 1900 NSW deals with offences ‘in the nature of rape and offences relating to other acts of sexual assault’. These are extremely serious criminal offences and if you are charged with a sexual assault offence there are very serious consequences. It is important to speak with a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged with an offence. George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers can assist you if you have been charged with a criminal offence and defend you if you are required to attend court.
Sexual assault offences can often be very difficult and complex matters due to one of the main elements of the offence – the lack of consent. Section 61HA defines ‘consent’ as a person freely and voluntarily agreeing to the sexual intercourse. Therefore if a person does not freely and voluntarily agree to have sexual intercourse with a person, the offence of sexual assault may be proved.
Significantly there are a number of factors, which may prevent a person from being able to give consent to sexual intercourse in the first place. The first is if a person cannot consent due to their age. The age of consent in NSW is 16 years of age. If a person has not reached the age of 16, it is impossible for them to be able to give consent to having sexual intercourse with another person.
Secondly, if a person does not have the opportunity to consent to the sexual intercourse because they are unconscious or asleep, this will mean they have not or cannot consent to the sexual intercourse.
Thirdly, if a person ‘consents’ to the sexual intercourse because they are threatened with force or terror (whether the threats are against them or any other person) this is not valid or real consent and is not accepted as consenting in a sexual assault matter. Further, if a person ‘consents’ to sexual intercourse because they are being unlawfully detained, this is not valid or real consent either and is not accepted as consenting in a sexual assault matter.
Further factors, which do not amount, to consent or prevent the element of consent being proved include:
This final factor has been included in the law to prevent people from inducing other people into having sexual intercourse with them by way of convincing the other person that the sexual intercourse will improve some health problem that person may be experiencing. For example, a person may visit a health practitioner for a problem they are experiencing and the health practitioner convinces them that by having sexual intercourse with them, this will help with the problem. As the other person is induced into having sexual intercourse under this mistaken belief, their consent is not valid or real consent and the act of sexual intercourse may amount to sexual assault.
If a person has sexual intercourse whilst alcohol or drugs substantially intoxicate them, it may be established that the person does not consent to sexual intercourse. Also, if a person has sexual intercourse because they are intimidated or coerced by the conduct of the other person or the other person threatens them, sexual assault may be established. Further, If a person has sexual intercourse because they are under the authority or trust of another person and that other person abuses that position of authority or trust to have sexual intercourse with the person, this may amount to sexual assault.
If a person is charged with sexual assault and they argue that the act was consensual, as the other person did not offer any physical resistance to the sexual intercourse, this will not be accepted as the other person consenting to the sexual intercourse. Simply because a person does not offer any physical resistance to the act does not mean that they are consenting to the act.
These are some of the factors or grounds on which it may be established that a person does not consent to sexual intercourse. The grounds on which it may be established that a person does not consent to sexual intercourse are not limited.
If you have been charged with a sexual assault offence, it is vital to speak with a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. It is the role of a criminal defence lawyer to act in your best interests and defend you against the charge as best as possible. The court is required to look at all of the admissible evidence and decide whether or not the charge and the elements of the offence, have been proved by the police or prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 during business hours or 0412 423 569 outside of business hours. We may also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.