Section 43 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) creates the offence of threat to commit a sexual offence. In Victoria, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. Like all sexual offences, it is a serious offence. Anything that you say in a police interview or to anyone else can potentially have consequences for the further conduct of your case. Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity is of vital importance in order to enable us to properly and expertly prepare a strategy to manage your matter.
To prove this offence, the prosecution must establish the following beyond reasonable doubt:
- The accused made a threat to rape or sexually assault the complainant or a third person; and
- The accused intended that the complainant believe, or believed that the complainant would probably believe, that the accused would carry out the threat.
In relation to the first element, a threat could consist of words or conduct that convey an intention to:
- Sexually penetrate or sexually touch the complainant or a third person without their consent;
- To cause the complainant or a third person, without their consent, to sexually penetrate or sexually touch:
- The accused;
- The complainant or a third person (as the case requires);
- Another person; or
- An animal.
Furthermore, a threat can be made by conduct and can be explicit or implicit.
The second element of this offence means, essentially, that the accused must have intended that the person threatened would believe, or the accused believed that the person threatened would probably believe, that the accused would carry out the threat.