What is Aggravated Indecent Assault?
Aggravated Indecent Assault involving a person assaulting another, and during that assault, or either immediately before or after, the offender commits an act of indecency in circumstances of aggravation.
It is a more serious offence than the offence of Indecent Assault alone, as it involves circumstances of aggravation, and the maximum penalties upon conviction are significantly increased.
The offence can be summary, which means that it is can be dealt with in the Local Court before a Magistrate. However, most often the Director of Public Prosecution would decide to elect to have the matter brought before a Judge in the District Court, due to the aggravating features, the seriousness of the accusations and the age of the victim.
Aggravated Indecent Assault & The Law
The offence of committing an act of Indecency is set out in Section 61M of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):
The accused assaulted the victim; and
At the time of the offence, or immediately before or after the assault, an act of indecency was also committed; and
The victim did not consent to the act of indecency; and
There were circumstances of aggravation surrounding the act
What are the Aggravating features?
The circumstances of aggravation can include:
The victim had a serious physical disability or was cognitively impaired
The victim was under the authority of the accused. This relates to the victim being in the care or supervision of the accused.
The act was committed in the company of another
What is an Act of Indecency?
An Act of Indecency is an act which a reasonable person would consider falls short of the normal community standards of decency. It is somewhat ambiguous in nature, and often based on singular testimony of what an external party saw and witnessed. This is often heavily scrutinised in Court during cross-examination.
In determining whether the act alone crossed any threshold of a standard of decency, the Courts have the discretion of considering any of the surrounding circumstances where the act is alleged to have occurred.
What is Assault?
Assault can be defined as any type of act, physical or verbal, performed towards another person, intentionally or recklessly, which causes them to fear immediate and unlawful violence.
Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”
If the matter remains in the Local Court, the maximum penalty that can be imposed if a term of imprisonment of 2 years. However, if the matter gets elected and moved up to the District Court, the maximum penalty is a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years imprisonment. If the age of the victim is under 16 years, the maximum penalty in the District court can be as high as 10 years imprisonment.
Lawyer Call – here to help..
Contact our experienced team of defence solicitors to obtain appropriate and honest legal advice regarding the prospects of defending this charge, with a clear breakdown of the alleged facts, the application of the relevant Legislation, and the options you have taking into account all the evidence. The aggravating features for this offence usually indicate that upon conviction a term of imprisonment is likely, and expert legal advice is required to ensure a more favourable outcome is obtained.
At Lawyer Call, our Criminal Law Team has an outstanding track record of understanding the surrounding circumstances, and being able to put forth relevant Representations and Submissions to the Prosecutor’s office prior to sentencing occurring, with the ultimate intention of having this charge downgraded to a less serious offence.
If you have been charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault, a strong legal team is required to not only fight for your rights and freedom, but also your public image and reputation. Contact our office immediately for expert legal advice.