sexual assault lawyers central coast nsw 2250

What is a Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is one of the most common criminal offences brought before the courts today. There are countless victims of sexual assault who rightly deserve justice however, there are also many innocent people who face false allegations resulting from a social night out, claims of assault from decades ago or claims of assault from vengeful ex-partners.

Anyone charged with a sexual assault offence is forced to defend themselves against extremely serious criminal charges with maximum penalties which include lengthy terms of imprisonment. They also have to face the embarrassment and humiliation associated with such allegations.

Sexual assault is governed by the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).  There are many different types of sexual assault-related offences but all sexual assault allegations or charges should be treated very seriously.

In most sexual assault cases the prosecution must prove that a sexual assault did occur by the accused, without the consent of the victim, and knowing that the victim did not consent. The prosecution must prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Penalties for Sexual Assault offences

Sexual assault

Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

Aggravated sexual assault 

Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and in circumstances of aggravation and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

Aggravated sexual assault in company

A person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse in the company of another person or persons, and in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for life.

Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse 

Any person who, with intent to have sexual intercourse with another person:who 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, is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

Indecent assault

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.

Aggravated indecent assault 

Any person who assaults another person in circumstances of aggravation, 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 7 years.

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 10 years, if the other person is under the age of 16 years.

Act of indecency 

Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person under the age of 16 years, or incites a person under that age to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person of the age of 16 years or above, or incites a person of the age of 16 years or above to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, is liable to imprisonment for 18 months.

Aggravated act of indecency 

Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person under the age of 16 years, or incites a person under that age to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, in either case in circumstances of aggravation, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person of the age of 16 years or above, or incites a person of the age of 16 years or above to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, in either case in circumstances of aggravation, is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person under the age of 10 years, or incites a person under that age to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

A person:who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person under the age of 16 years, or incites a person under the age of 16 years to an act of indecency with or towards that person or another person, and who knows that the act of indecency is being filmed for the purposes of the production of child abuse material, is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Sexual intercourse - child under 10 

Any person who has sexual intercourse with a child who is under the age of 10 years is guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty: imprisonment for life.

Attempting, or assaulting with intent, to have sexual intercourse with child under 10

Any person who attempts to have sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of 10 years, or assaults any such person with intent to have sexual intercourse, shall be liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

Sexual intercourse - child between 10 and 16

Child between 10 and 14 Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 14 years is liable to imprisonment for 16 years.

Child between 10 and 14--aggravated offence Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 14 years in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

Child between 14 and 16 Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 14 years and under the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Child between 14 and 16--aggravated offence Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 14 years and under the age of 16 years in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.

Persistent sexual abuse of a child 

A person who, on 3 or more separate occasions occurring on separate days during any period, engages in conduct in relation to a particular child that constitutes a sexual offence is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

Procuring or grooming child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity

Procuring children. An adult person who intentionally procures a child for unlawful sexual activity with that or any other person is guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty in the case of a child who is under the age of 14 years is imprisonment for 15 years, or in any other case imprisonment for 12 years.

Incest

Any person who has sexual intercourse with a close family member who is of or above the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for 8 years.

What is an Indecent Assault?

The charge of indecent assault is very common and is often heard before a Magistrate in the Local Court. However, where the circumstances surrounding the assault are more serious or are aggravated the DPP may elect to take the matter to the District Court where the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.

Indecent assaults generally involve inappropriate touching of a sexual nature of a person's breasts, buttocks or genitals. Most indecent assaults do not cause physical injuries or marks and may occur without any witnesses being present. 

What are aggravating circumstances?

Whether a sexual offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation will depend on the offence the accused is charged with. The aggravating circumstances will vary depending on the offence. It is enough for the prosecution to prove only one aggravating circumstance to prove that the offence was aggravated. 

Aggravating circumstances may include:

  • The offender intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm;
  • The offender threatened the victim or other people present by using a weapon;
  • The offender was in the company of other people;
  • The victim is under 16 years of age;
  • The victim is under the authority of the offender;
  • The victim has a serious physical disability;
  • The victim has a cognitive impairment;
  • The offender breaks into a building with the intention of committing the offence; and
  • The offender deprives the victim of their liberty before or after the offence.

Can I fight sexual assault charges?

Defences vary for sexual assault offences. If someone has been charged with sexual assault, consent may be a defence. The knowledge of the victim’s capacity to consent is important.  For example, in charges of sexual assault where a person has a cognitive impairment, it is a defence if you did not know the victim had a cognitive impairment. 

What if they consented?

Consent is not a defence for certain sexual assault offences.  For example, offences against children and persons with cognitive impairment is not a defence because those persons are not capable of giving consent. 

What if you are married to the victim?

Even if you are married to the person it is alleged you have committed the sexual assault offence against, you are can still be charged with sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault in company, and sexual assault with intent to have sexual intercourse. 

We are here to help

Our solicitors specialise in Sexual Assault matters and represent clients in Courts throughout the Central Coast and Hunter Regions. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the court process from beginning to end to get you the best possible outcome.

If you are not guilty of the charges our criminal lawyers can help you clear your name and if you wish to plead guilty we can help you avoid or minimise any gaol term.

If you have been charged with sexual assault, don't take risks with your future. If you need advice from an experienced lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week.

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  • Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...

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  • “Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...

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  • Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today

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  • I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.

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Court Results 

INDECENT ASSAULT | Charges Withdrawn
Charges withdrawn | Assault with Act of Indecency & Common Assault | Gosford Local Court 
 
Our client is a 41-year-old male assistant nurse who works in an aged care facility providing specialist palliative pare, dementia support and respite care. An allegation of indecent assault was made against our client by another staff member of the aged care facility. Another charge of Common Assault was added later.
 
The maximum penalties for these offences are a $5,500 fine and a 2-year term of imprisonment in the local court and a 5-year term of imprisonment in the District Court. A conviction would have seen our client struck off as a nurse and a career which he was so passionate about would have been destroyed.
 
We entered a plea not guilty on behalf of our client. The Police Brief of Evidence and witness statements were served over a considerable period. After reviewing the evidence, Fourtree Lawyers made representations to the police outlining the multiple inconsistencies in the witness statements and requested that the charges be dropped.
 
After consideration of our submissions and discussions with the Prosecution, the Detective Senior Constable in charge of the matter in conjunction with the Police Prosecutor elected to withdraw the charges against our client. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended the Court and the matter was withdrawn and dismissed.
 
Our client was relieved to have the charges withdrawn and no conviction recorded.
INDECENT ASSAULT | Case Dismissed

Case Dismissed - Indecent Assault - Wyong Local Court 

Our client was a 44 year old father with three teenage daughters. He was charged with Assault with an act of indecency. At the time of the alleged offence, he was working as a taxi driver on the Central Coast. He pleaded "not guilty" and the matter was set down for hearing.

Solicitor Kevin Vierboom noted a number of inconsistencies in the witness statements and the brief of evidence. After cross-examination, the Magistrate ruled that on the evidence available the offence could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and the case was dismissed.

Our client was extremely relieved at the outcome.

ASSAULT W/ACT OF INDECENCY | Section 10(1)(b)

Section 10(1)(b) – Assault with act of indecency T2 – Newcastle District Court 

Our client, a 38-year-old male who lives in Newcastle, was charged with Assault with act of indecency T2. This penalty carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Our client was endeavouring to secure employment as a University lecturer and tutor. A conviction for this offence would have prevented our client from working in Education.

In the Local Court the Magistrate convicted our client and ordered a Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond and as a result, he was placed on the Sex Offenders Register which was a devastating blow. Our client wished to appeal the sentence on the basis that the penalty was too severe.

Solicitor Kevin Vierboom made extensive submissions with regard to the objective seriousness of the offence as well as our client’s subjective circumstances. Following consideration of Mr Vierboom’s submissions, the District Court Judge accepted that our client was ordinarily a person of good character and dismissed the charge on the condition that our client enters a Section 10(1)(b) Good Behaviour Bond for a period of 12 months.

Our client was elated with the outcome of this matter.