Aggravated Sexual Assault Offences

These offences are very serious and can result in significant penalties. You should seek advice from a sexual assault lawyer who will explain the legal options available to you and represent you in court.

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

Sexual assault

To understand what an aggravated sexual assault offences is, it is important to first understand what a sexual assault is.  Sexual assault is a sexual offence as outlined in section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

A person will be guilty of sexual assault if they have sexual intercourse with another person without their consent and knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse.

The maximum penalty for a sexual assault offence is 14 years imprisonment.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Aggravated sexual assault is an offence outlined in section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

A person will be guilty of an aggravated sexual assault if they commit a sexual assault in a circumstance of aggravation.

Circumstances of aggravation refer to various circumstances that increase the severity of the offence. Some examples of circumstances of aggravation include:

  • The infliction of harm upon the alleged victim or bystanders
  • The alleged victim having a serious physical or cognitive disability
  • The alleged offender committed the sexual assault in the company of another person or persons

The full list of the relevant circumstances of aggravation can be found in section 61J(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is 20 years imprisonment.

Aggravated Sexual Assault in company

Aggravated sexual assault in company is a sexual offence defined in section 61JA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In broad terms, aggravated sexual assault refers to a sexual assault that is committed in the company of another person or persons. The offence also requires the offender to have either:

  • Inflicted actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby
  • 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
  • Deprived the alleged victim of their liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault in company is life imprisonment.

Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse

Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse, is an offence outlined in section 61K of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse refers to any person who, with the intent to have sexual intercourse with another person either:

  • Intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the other person or a third person who is present or nearby, or
  • Threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the other person or a third person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment.

Why BSM Lawyers?

Our criminal lawyers understand that being charged with a sexual offence is stressful and overwhelming.  We have extensive experience with handling sexual offence cases and have achieved excellent results.

Our criminal team 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.

We are committed to providing premium legal services.  We will fight tirelessly for you and vigorously defend your rights.

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

We are conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

FAQs

chevronHow is consent defined in relation to aggravated sexual assault offences?

Section 61HE of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines the meaning of consent in relation to aggravated sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault in company. 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

For more information on the legal nuances of consent in the context of sexual assault, please contact our criminal lawyers on 02 8539 7475 for an obligation free 20 minute consultation.

chevronWhat is sexual intercourse?

Section 61HA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines sexual intercourse as “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.”  Sexual intercourse also includes “the introduction of any part of the penis of a person into the mouth of another person, or cunnilingus”.

The penetration of a female’s genitalia or any person’s anus for proper medical purposes is excluded from the definition of sexual intercourse.

This statutory definition of sexual intercourse applies to aggravated sexual assault offences.

chevronWhat is an offensive weapon or instrument?

In the context of aggravated sexual assault offences, it is a circumstance of aggravation where an alleged offender threatens a victim or bystander with an offensive weapon or instrument.

Section 4 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines an offensive weapon or instrument as either:

  • A dangerous weapon, or
  • Any thing that is made or adapted for offensive purposes, or
  • Any thing that, in the circumstances, is use, intended for use or threatened to be used for offensive purposes, whether or not it is ordinarily used for offensive purposes or is capable of causing harm.

chevronWhat is actual bodily harm?

The infliction of actual bodily harm on a victim aggravates various sexual offences in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In common law the term actual bodily harm is known as some form of harm or injury that must be “more than merely transient or trifling”.  Actual bodily harm encompasses injuries such as bruises and scratches and may also include psychological injuries.

chevronWhat is cognitive impairment?

The commission of sexual assault 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

chevronWhat if I am accused of sexual assaulting the person I am married to?

Section 61KA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) outlines that people can still be found guilty of a sexual assault offence even where they are married to the alleged victim.

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