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Sexual Touching Offences

Being charged with a sexual touching offence is very serious and the penalties associated with this offence reflect this.  Brander Smith McKnight criminal lawyers appreciate the gravity of being charged with a sexual touching offence are able to defend you.

In NSW, there are various circumstances which substantiate the commission of a sexual touching offence.

What is sexual touching?

Sexual touching is defined as the touching of another person, with any part of the body or with anything else, or through anything, including anything worn by the person doing the touching or by the person being touched, in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual.

When considering whether touching is sexual, the court will consider the area of the body touched, whether the person doing the touching did so for a sexual reason or any other aspect of the touching that may make it sexual.

It is important to note that any touching done for genuine medical or hygienic purposes will not be considered sexual touching.

Some examples of what may be considered sexual touching can include things such as kissing or intentionally touching someone’s genitals.  Various sexual touching offences which operate in NSW are explained in simple terms below.

Sexual Touching Offences

Sexual touching (section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW))

A person will be guilty of a sexual touching offence if they intentionally, without the alleged victim’s consent and with knowledge that the alleged victim does not consent

  •     Sexually touches the alleged victim, or
  •     Incites the alleged victim to sexually touch the alleged offender, or
  •     Incites a third person to sexually touch the alleged victim, or
  •     Incites the alleged victim to sexually touch a third person.

The maximum penalty for a sexual touching offence is imprisonment for 5 years.

Aggravated Sexual touching (section 61KD of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

An aggravated sexual touching offence is a more serious form of a sexual touching offence. An aggravated sexual touching offence occurs where a sexual touching offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation. Circumstances of aggravation include instances where:

  •  The alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or
  •  The alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender, or
  •  The alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or
  •  The alleged victim has a cognitive impairment.

The maximum penalty for an aggravated sexual touching offence is imprisonment for 7 years.

Why BSM Lawyers?

Our criminal lawyers understand that being charged with a sexual offence is understandably stressful and overwhelming.  We can advise and assist you alleviating the stress and difficulty of managing the charge on your own.  Our lawyers have extensive experience in managing sexual offence cases and have achieved excellent results.

Our criminal defence team is highly experienced and are able to run most court matters without the added expense of a barrister. However, for serious criminal matters we have a panel of expert barristers who we frequently engage.

Our lawyers are committed to providing excellent legal services and you can rest assured that we will fight tirelessly in your corner.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

Brander Smith McKnight has offices located in Sutherland, Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Wollongong.

FAQs

chevronWhat is the legal definition of consent?

Section 61HE of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines the meaning of consent in relation to sexual touching offences.

In simple terms, a person can only consent to sexual activity if they freely and voluntarily agree to the sexual activity.  Section 61HE explains that there are various circumstances where consent is invalidated, such as where:

  • a person does not have the capacity (because of age or cognitive incapacity) to consent to the sexual activity
  • a person consents to the sexual activity because of threats of force or terror
  • if the person does not have the opportunity to consent to the sexual activity because the person is unconscious or asleep
  • a person under the mistaken belief as to the identity of the other person

In addition, there are various instances that may invalidate a person’s consent to sexual activity including where:

  • the person consents to the sexual activity, while substantially intoxicated by alcohol or any drug
  • the person consents to the sexual activity because of intimidatory or coercive conduct
  •  the person consents to the sexual activity because of the abuse of a position of authority or trust

chevronWhat is a cognitive impairment?

A sexual touching offence may be aggravated where the victim is deemed to have a cognitive impairment.  Section 61HD of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) explains that a person will be considered as having a “cognitive impairment” if the person has:

  • An intellectual disability
  • A developmental disorder
  • A neurological disorder
  • A severe mental illness
  • A brain injury

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

 

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