If you are being investigated for or charged with an indecent assault offence, then you should seek legal advice from an experienced criminal lawyer. At George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers, we specialise in defending indecent assault charges. Our highly respected team services clients New South Wales wide. We pride ourselves on our ability to guide you throughout the entire process from initial investigations through to hearings. Our criminal lawyers will break down the complicated legal process into easy to understand English to ensure that you know exactly what is going on 100% of the time. You can contact us on (02) 9261 8640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during business hours. If your matter is urgent and you need out of hours legal assistance, call us now on our urgent contact number: 0412 423 569.
A recent indecent assault case
On 24 September 2016, a man boarded a train at Fairfield Station and indecently assaulted a woman while she slept. He was reported to police and following an investigation; he was arrested at his home. The arrest occurred on 4 October 2016.
The man was charged with two counts of assault with an act of indecency. He was granted conditional bail and ordered to appear before the court later in the month.
It is also believed that the same man committed a similar offence on another train on September 7 2016.
Indecent assault is a serious criminal offence that is created under section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). This section states:
Any person who assaults another person, and, at the time of, or immediately before or after, the assault, commits an act of indecency on or in the presence of the other person, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
If you are charged with indecent assault, the court will need to prove that 4 essential elements occurred. As this is a criminal offence, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt that each of these elements was fulfilled. Another way of thinking of the concept of proving beyond reasonable doubt is that the court must be able to prove that there is no other logical explanation for what happened. The 4 crucial elements are as follows:
The Accused assaulted the Complainant
The first element is that the person accused assaulted the complainant. The legal definition of assault comes under two branches. The first is the deliberate and unlawful touching of another person. The touch does not need to be violent or rough to be considered assault. It can be light and quick and still be considered assault. The second branch involves an unlawful threat made to the complainant by the person accused. This threat must make the complainant fear for the immediate wellbeing. Only one of these branches needs to be proven.
The assault was indecent
The Police must prove that that the assault was indecent. For an assault to be indecent, it needs to have some sort of sexual connotation. When considering whether the assault is indecent, the Police will compare the action to what is acceptable for community standards.
The assault was committed without the complainant’s consent
The Police will also need to prove that the complainant did not give consent to the accused assault. The concept of consent can be thought of as intended permission for the accused to touch the complainant in the way that they did.
The Accused knew that the Complainant did not give consent
The final element that needs to exist is that the accused is aware that there is no consent for the assault. This is difficult to prove, as the court will need to consider the actual state of mind of the accused at the time that the assault was occurred.
What is the penalty for indecent assault?
The penalty for an indecent assault offence is up to 5 years imprisonment. If the assault took place in circumstances of aggravation and you are charged with the offence of aggravated indecent assault, then you will be liable for up to 7 years imprisonment. If the person, who is assaulted, is less than 16 years of age, then the penalty increases to 10 years imprisonment.
Indecent Assault Defences
A defence which may be used for a indecent assault offence is self defence. Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that self defence can be used for assault offences. Conduct which is done by a person in self defence is allowable if the conduct is necessary to:
- To defend him or herself or another person; or
- To prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person; or
- To protect property from unlawful taking or damage; or
- To prevent criminal trespass on land or remove someone from committing this kind of offence.
The conduct must be reasonable in comparison with the circumstances.
Other defences may be available to you, so book in a consultation and we will help to build your case.
What to do next?
If you are looking for an experienced indecent assault lawyer, then you have come to the right place. At George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers, we are passionate about advocating for our clients. We will be by your side every step of the way and will explain the legal process to you in an easy to understand manner. We will make sure you understand exactly what is happening throughout the whole process. Contact George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers now to find out how we can assist you. Call us on (02) 9610 8640 or email email@example.com. If you have an urgent matter that needs attention out of ordinary business hours, call our dedicated 24 hour line: 0412 423 569.