Sexual Assault

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Sexual Assault

The offence of Sexual Assault is very common in our Criminal Justice system. Our Sexual Assault Lawyers  are located in our offices throughout Sydney. The clients we have represented are often those without any criminal history at all, finding themselves facing a jail sentence. It is the type of offence that can be easily charged, evidence often being manufactured or embellished by the alleged victim.

All too often our clients are faced with false allegations, and are forced to face extremely serious criminal charges, and suffer social degradation as a result of the charges.

We have been successful in countless jury trials for our clients facing sexual assault charges, whether allegations result from a drunken night out, claims of assault from decades ago, or claims of sexual or indecent assault from a vengeful ex-girlfriend wanting her day in court.

These are extremely serious charges that almost inevitably lead to a sentence of full time imprisonment, if found guilty. It is important that you instruct an experienced sexual assault criminal lawyer if you have been charged or anticipate that you will be charged.

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with a person;
  2. The sexual intercourse was without the consent of that person;
  3. You knew the other person did not consent to the sexual intercourse or were reckless to that fact;

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Sexual Assault carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment in the District Court. Sexual Assault is considered an extremely serious offence. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with this offence.

Aggrevated Sexual Assault

Aggravated Sexual Assault

The charge of “Aggrevated Sexual Assault” is simply “Sexual Assault”, however in circumstances of aggravation. In other words, it is a more serious incident/s of sexual assault. Circumstances of aggravation include injury resulting from the assault, committing the offence in company, and particular vulnerabilities of the victim. The law is set out below.

Aggravated sexual assault is a very serious offence, almost inevitably leading to a sentence of full time imprisonment if found guilty.

Our solicitors at LY Lawyers have been very successful in challenging these charges, and more recently have achieved an acquittal for our client in the Sydney District Court following a trial by jury in June 2014, before Judge Hoy. The case involved multiple “historical” sexual assault allegations said to have taken place more than 20 years ago.

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

1. You had sexual intercourse with a person;

2. The sexual intercourse was without the consent of that person;

3. You knew the other person did not consent to the sexual intercourse or were reckless to that fact;

4. The sexual intercourse was in circumstances of aggravation, meaning:

a) At the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, you intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby; or

b) At the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, you 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; or

c) You were in the company of another person or persons; or

d) The alleged victim is under the age of 16 years; or

e) The alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender; or

f) The alleged victim has a serious physical disability; or

g) The alleged victim has a cognitive impairment; or

h) The alleged offender breaks and enters into any dwelling-house or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence; or

i) You deprived the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

Where the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, the age of the victim is an additional element that the prosecution will have to prove.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Aggravated Sexual Assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment in the District Court. Aggravated Sexual Assault is considered an extremely serious offence. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with this offence.

Indecent Assault

Indecent Assault

The charge of “Indecent Assault” is a very common one in our courts. Generally, these matters are dealt with in the Local Courts of NSW, where the jurisdictional maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment. However, where the circumstances of the assault/s are serious, the DPP will often elect to have the charges heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. Our solicitors at LY Lawyers have conducted countless Local Court defended hearings ourselves, and have been extremely successful in achieving “not guilty” verdicts for our clients.

Indecent Assaults can be considered extremely serious, and it is important that you obtain legal advice and instruct a specialist Criminal Lawyer to defend you in these proceedings.

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You assaulted another person;
  2. At the time of, or immediately before or after the assault, you committed an act of indecency on or in the presence of the other person.

In some instances the police may allege an aggravated offence against you in which case the police must prove the additional element of circumstances of aggravation, meaning:

a) You were in the company of another person or persons; or

b) The alleged victim was (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of you; or

c) The alleged victim has a serious physical disability; or

d) The alleged victim has a cognitive impairment.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Indecent Assault carries a maximum penalty of $5,500.00 and 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and a maximum penalty of $5,500.00 and 5 years imprisonment in the District Court. Aggravated Indecent Assault carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment in the District Court. Where the victim is under 16 years of age, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years imprisonment in the District Court.

Indecent Assault and Aggravated Indecent Assault are considered to be extremely serious offences. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with either of these offences.

Act of Indecency

Act of Indecency

Committing an “act of indecency” is a less common, and often a less serious charge in terms of sex type offences. Very often, the evidence can come down to one witness’s version of what he/she saw, which can often be the subject of challenge in court.

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You committed an act of indecency with or towards another person; or
  2. You incited a person to commit an act of indecency with or towards another person.

Where the alleged victim is under 16 years of age, the age of the victim is an additional element that the prosecution will have to prove.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Act of Indecency carries a maximum penalty of a fine $2,200.00 and/or 12 months imprisonment in the Local Court and 18 months imprisonment in the District Court. Where the victim is under 16 years of age, the maximum penalty is a fine $2,200.00 and/or 12 months imprisonment in the Local Court and 2 years imprisonment if the matter is finalised in the District Court. Depending on the seriousness of the offending, Act of Indecency is an offence that can be dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Possession of Child abuse material

Production, Dissemination or Possession of Child Abuse Material (State Charge)

With the abundance of access to material over the internet, these charges are becoming much more common in our society today.

It is surprising how many of our clients do not understand the seriousness of charges of possessing material obtained from the internet relating to child abuse. It is not until they are charged and face court, and possible jail time, that they are of the full appreciate the seriousness of these offences.

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

1. You produced, disseminated or possessed child abuse material.

Disseminate child abuse material, includes:

a) send, supply, exhibit, transmit or communicate it to another person, or

b) make it available for access by another person, or

c) enter into any agreement or arrangement to do so.

Possess child abuse material includes, in relation to material in the form of data, being in possession or control of data.

Produce child abuse material includes:

a) Film, photograph, print or otherwise make child abuse material, or

b) Alter or manipulate any image for the purpose of making child abuse material, or

c) Enter into any agreement or arrangement to do so.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if you prove that you did not know or could not reasonably be expected to have known that you possessed, disseminated or produced child abuse material. For an offence involving possession, it is a defence if you can establish that the child abuse material came into your possession unsolicited and as soon as you became aware of it, you took reasonable steps to get rid of it.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Production, dissemination or possession of child abuse material carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in the District Court. Production, dissemination or possession of child abuse material is considered an extremely serious offence. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with this offence.

Using a carriage service for child pornography material

Using a Carriage Service for Child Pornography Material

Your options:

Plead not guilty:

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

1. You intentionally:

a) Access material; or

b) Cause material to be transmitted to yourself; or

c) Transmit, make available, publish, distribute, advertise or promote material; or

d) Solicit material; and

2. You do so using a carriage service (electronic device capable of communication); and

3. The material is child pornography material.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty:

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Using a carriage service for child pornography material carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment in the District Court. Using a carriage service for child pornography material is considered an extremely serious offence. We advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately if you are charged with this offence.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Case Study - 14 Charges, Not Guilty.
Our client was charged with 14 charges – 12 charges of sexual intercourse without consent and 2 charges of indecent assault.

Our client pleaded not guilty and went trial. At trial a jury of 12 found our client not guilty on all counts.

Our client rented out a room to a 27 year old Japanese woman on a student visa. Our client accepted at trial that the two had intercourse over a two day period.

The complainant said that on the first day, whilst they were on the couch, our client started touching her thigh and from there had sexual intercourse with her without her consent. She gave evidence in front of the jury that she repeatedly said “no stop” to him.

She then gave evidence that she made him promise not to do it again and he agreed.

The next day, her evidence was that she sat back down on the same couch next to our client to watch a movie with him. This was despite the fact she was supposed to be at her English class. She said that he again had sexual intercourse with her without her consent. She then said that in order to stop what was happening on the couch, she agreed to go talk with him in his room, where she alleged our client had intercourse with her a third time.

A year before the trial came before the jury, our solicitors organised in a quick fashion to go to a restaurant where our client said the complainant and him went to the day after the first time they had intercourse. We obtained CCTV footage showing our client and the complainant entering the restaurant together.

When we showed the complainant the CCTV footage, she paused for 15 seconds before answering the questions. As the Judge said this was a very “telling” silence, as she had previously denied she would have ever gone out to lunch with him that day given he had raped her the day before.

The Jury found our client not guilty.

Case Study - Not Guilty After A 4 Day Trial.
Our client was charged with four charges:

  1. Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm;
  2. Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse;
  3. Sexual intercourse without consent;
  4. Sexual intercourse without consent;

Our client pleaded not guilty to all expect the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. At trial, a jury found him not guilty of the other three charges.

  • Our client was in a relationship with the complainant;
  • The complainant gave evidence that he was at a dinner with her friends and during the dinner he was very aggressive;
  • She then gave evidence that he was drunk and started to assault her and then had intercourse with her without consent at her house;
  • Her friend gave evidence that our client was sober and calm and happy at dinner;
  • The complainant went to the doctor the next day and complained of having been physically assaulted by our client but did not complain about any sexual assault. She also complained to her friends about a physical assault by not a sexual assault.
  • The complainant then recommenced a relationship with our client and did not complain to the Police until they separated several months later.
  • Our client accepted he punched her once at the back of the head but did not accept that this was after dinner at her home, but rather in the car when she drove him home.
  • He says he then spent the night at home and not with her.
There were several inconsistencies with the complainant’s evidence and the Jury found our client not guilty after a four day trial.

He was sentenced for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm to 2 years imprisonment with 14 months non parole. He was released from custody the same day. Our client had a history of violence, including domestic violence. He had been in custody waiting for the trial.