What is the offence of Aggravated sexual assault?
The offence of Aggravated sexual assault is found at section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900.
Aggravated sexual assault is an offence that is frequently defended. Common examples of where a person’s prospects of successfully defending the charge are increased include where the prosecution is reliant on the testimony of one witness, where the complaint is historical, where there is no medical or DNA evidence or that evidence is in dispute, and where an Accused person is able to call character evidence to establish they would be less likely to have committed the offence.
If you are charged with the offence of Aggravated sexual assault, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.
Pleading not guilty
You will be found not guilty of the offence of Aggravated sexual assault if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:
- You had sexual intercourse with a person (sexual intercourse means sexual connection occasioned by the penetration to any extent of the genitalia of a female person or the anus of any person by any part of the body of another person or any object manipulated by another person, or sexual connection occasioned by the introduction of any part of the penis of a person into the mouth of another person, or cunnilingus).
- The sexual intercourse was without the consent of that person (for the purposes of an aggravated sexual assault, a person under 16 years of age can consent).
- You knew the other person did not consent to the sexual intercourse or were reckless to that fact.
- The sexual intercourse was in circumstances of aggravation, meaning:
- At the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, you intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby; or
- At the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, you threatened 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
- You were in the company of another person or persons; or
- The alleged victim is under the age of 16 years; or
- The alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) 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-house or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence; or
- You deprived the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.
Aggravated sexual assault can be committed recklessly, a person may not intend to commit the sexual act without consent but will be found guilty if they realised that the alleged victim might not have been consenting and committed the sexual act anyway.
Contact our offices at Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Aggravated sexual assault.
If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.
Sentences for Aggravated sexual assault will be greater where the degree of violence, physical hurt inflicted, form of forced intercourse and the circumstances, of humiliation and otherwise, are at the higher end of the scale. The nature of the sexual act is also highly relevant e.g. penetration using a finger as opposed to a penis.
The offence of Aggravated sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment in the District Court. However, this penalty is typically reserved for the worst offenders. Aggravated sexual assault is an extremely serious offence and has a standard non parole period. If you are charged with this offence you should contact our office immediately.
Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:
- Section 10 – No conviction recorded
- Section 9 – Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Section 12 – Suspended sentence
- Intensive correction order
- Home detention
- Full time imprisonment
Why choose AC Law Group?
Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for sex offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.
To discuss your sex charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.
Mr Adut represented a person charged with aggravated sexual assault (rape) with the aggravating factor being the infliction of Actual bodily harm on the victim. The Accused was a person of prior good character and video was obtained that showed the Accused and complainant in a consensual embrace (kissing) shortly prior to the time of the allegation (which the complainant had omitted telling the police). The complainant was cross-examined for days as were her friends who conceded that they had trouble believing that the Accused would have committed the offence as he had always been a gentleman, intoxicated or otherwise. It was further conceded that the complainant had only recently separated from her boyfriend and knew that mutual friends had seen her and the Accused together. It was put to the complainant that she fabricated the complaint because she was worried that her boyfriend would find out there had been a consensual intercourse has the Accused put forth. The jury came back with a verdict of not guilty and acquitted our client who was free to move on with his life.
AC Law Group represented a 18 year old charged man with the Aggravated sexual assault of a 14 year old. The allegation was that she had been raped when the Accused and his friends stole her mobile phone and coerced her into sexual intercourse. The complainant was cross examined about her conduct following the alleged rape in which she continued her relationship with the Accused and inconsistent statements to police and friends. The jury deliberated for no more than 30 minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict. The jury one may speculate, on the basis of the cross examination, found the girl to an unreliable and dishonest witness, and the Accused to be telling the truth. The Accused was found not guilty.
Mr Correy represented a person charged with Aggravated sexual assault with a child aged more than 14, less that 16. He negotiated the charge with the DPP who accepted a guilty plea to sexual intercourse with a child aged more than 14, less that 16 on the basis of Mr Correy’s representations that they would struggle to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there had no been consent. Mr Correy also convinced the DPP to allow the case to be dealt with in the Local Court. In the end the client received a suspended gaol sentence of two years, meaning a person of prior good character who had never been in trouble before stayed out of gaol and walked out of Campbelltown Court. The result was a good one for Joseph Correy, criminal lawyer, Sydney.
Mr Correy represented a person charged with Aggravated sexual assault with a child aged more than 14, less that 16. The matter proceeded to trial at Campbelltown District Court. The child complainant was cross-examined at length about his relationship with the Accused and the jury ultimately found the witness unbelievable. Whilst there are no eyes and ears of a a criminal defence lawyer in a Sydney jury room, one would think the damage to the child complainant in cross examination and submissions on inconsistent medical evidence may have been the turning point, as the client was found not guilty.