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A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual, the other person does not consent, and the offender does not reasonably believe that the touching was consensual.
Sexual Assault Penalty
A person who commits sexual assault is liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A intentionally touches another person (B); and
(b) the touching is sexual; and
(c) B does not consent to the touching; and
(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents to the touching.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
Sexual Assault s40 Crimes Act 1958 (In more detail)
To prove the accused guilty of sexual assault, the prosecution must establish the following:
The accused intentionally touched the complainant with any part of their body or anything else, or through anything worn by either person.
The prosecution must show that the touching was sexual. This can include various factors, such as the area of the body that was touched, whether the person doing the touching sought or received sexual arousal or gratification, or any other circumstances surrounding the touching.
The touching must have occurred without the complainant’s consent. Consent is defined as a free agreement, and the Crimes Act outlines circumstances where a complainant cannot give consent.
The accused did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was consenting. This can be satisfied if the accused did not believe the complainant was consenting, knew they were not consenting or believed they were consenting but that belief was not reasonable in the circumstances.
It is important to note that the law surrounding sexual assault has undergone changes, including restrictions on the accused’s defence of reasonable belief in consent. It is recommended that anyone charged with sexual assault seek the assistance of an experienced sex offence lawyer due to the complexity of these cases.
Related article: What is the age of consent in Victoria?
Do you need a sexual assault lawyer?
Like all sexual offences, It is a very 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.
It’s very important to get advice from an experienced Melbourne sexual assault lawyer. The earlier, the better. This can help you develop an effective strategy.
We are not a ‘general practice’ law firm (e.g. Family Law, Personal Injury, Conveyancing, Wills and Estates, etc). Our time is spent on criminal and traffic matters. This helps us provide the best results for our clients.
If you have been charged with sexual assault, please contact Furstenberg Law. Our Melbourne criminal lawyers are experts in sexual assault cases.