Indecent assault

What is indecent assault?

The offence of Indecent assault is found at section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900.

Indecent 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 there is a dispute as to consent, where the prosecution is reliant on the testimony of one witness, where identification is an issue, 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 Indecent 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 Indecent assault if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You assaulted the victim (an assault is the intentional or reckless application of force to the person of another or an act designed to cause fear of unlawful violence).
  2. The assault was accompanied by an act of indecency on or in the presence of the victim which occurred before, after or at the time of the assault.

An indecent act is one which right-minded persons would consider to be contrary to community standards of decency and although where the act has unequivocal sexual connotations it is unnecessary for the prosecution to prove the purpose of the act was the provision of sexual gratification.

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 Indecent assault.

Pleading guilty

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.

An Indecent Assault can occur in many ways of varying seriousness and as such there is a great diversity in sentences.

The offence of Indecent Assault carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and 5 years imprisonment in the District Court. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Indecent assault is a serious offence but also one that is often dealt with by a sentence other than gaol. If you are charged with it you should contact our office immediately.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

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.

Case Study

AC Law Group represented a cab driver charged with indecent assault. It being alleged he groped a drunken passenger. The Magistrate accepted that given the degree of intoxication of the complainant and that at the time of the touch, the driver was conceded to have been saying words to the effect of “wake up”, that the complaint could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt because the contact with her leg may have been innocent. Accordingly our client was found not guilty.

Case Study

AC Law Group represented a client charged with Sexual Assault and Indecent Assault against his wife on a number of occasions. The allegation was that our client had, amongst other things, sodomized her with his penis and hands on a number of occasions. Our solicitor took a statement from the wife where she said that the police had misunderstood her on account of her poor English and that whilst she said no at one stage, she ultimately consented. She said the matter was only reported to police out of concern for her husband’s mental health. Ultimately, on representations from our lawyer, the DPP withdrew the charges.

Case Study

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. He was also charged with a number of counts of indecent assault. 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.

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