Sexual Offences and Sexual Assault Lawyers

What is Indecent Assault?

Under s. 323 of the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913 (WA) (“Criminal Code”), a person who unlawfully and indecently assaults another person is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for five (5) years. The term “indecent” refers to any behaviour of a sexual nature, occurring before during or after the offence, that involves conduct with which an ‘ordinary person’ would consider to be contrary to community standards of decency – R v Harkin (1989) 38 A Crim R 296.

What Acts Would Satisfy a Test of ‘Sexual Nature’?

Touching another person, of itself, will not amount to an act of indecency (R v Sutton [1977] 1 WLR 1086) however, if that touching was to provide the accused with sexual gratification it will be indecent.

Sexual Offences and Sexual Assault Lawyers

What is Aggravated Indecent Assault?

Under s. 319(1) of the Criminal Code, aggravated indecent assault is of a more serious nature than the above, indecent assault. A person who unlawfully and indecently assaults another person in circumstances of ‘aggravation’ is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years. Circumstances of aggravation will occur when immediately before or during or immediately after the commission of the offence the offender:

  1. Is armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument or pretends to be so armed; or
  2. Is in company with another person or persons; or
  3. Does bodily harm to any person; or
  4. Does an act which is likely seriously and substantially to degrade or humiliate the victim; or
  5. Threatens to kill the victim.

Circumstances of aggravation will also occur if the victim is of, or over the age of 13 years and under the age of 16 years.

Are There Any Defences for This Offence?

A defence justifies your conduct or gives you an excuse as to why your conduct was not unlawful. If the victim of the act has consented to the alleged behaviour, then this will act as a defence. Consent is the free and voluntary consent to an act. Consent is defined under s. 319(2) of the Criminal Code and cannot be obtained by force, threats, intimidation, deceit or any fraudulent means. Even if the victim offered no resistance to the alleged indecent behaviour, this will not constitute consent.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Charged With This Offence?

If you have been charged with this offence, you should seek legal assistance from WN Legal. Our Perth Criminal Defence Lawyers have extensive expertise in this area of law and will guide you through this process.

What Constitutes Sexual Penetration?

What Constitutes Sexual Penetration?

Under s. 319(1) of the Criminal Code, to ‘sexually penetrate’ is to:

  1. Penetrate the vagina (including the labia majora), anus, and urethra of any person by any means of any part of the body or an object. This does not include when the penetration is performed for a lawful medical purpose.
  2. Manipulate any part of the body of the victim to cause penetration of the vagina, anus and urethra of the offender.
  3. Introduce any part of the penis into the mouth of the victim.
  4. Engage in oral sex, fellatio or cunnilingus.

The accused can be either male or female. The victim can also be male or female.

Possession of Child Pornography

Being charged with the involvement, possession or distribution of child pornography is an extremely serious offence and imposes a maximum 10-year sentence of imprisonment for offenders. It can result in either federal or state charges, or both depending on the particular facts of the case. Under s. 217A of the Criminal Code, the term ‘child pornography’ means material that, in a way likely to offend a reasonable person, describes, depicts or represents a person, or part of a person, who is, or appears to be a child engaging in sexual activity or in a sexual context. ‘Material’ for the purposes of this section of the Criminal Code will include:

  1. Any object, picture, film, written or printed matter, data; or
  2. Any other thing and anything from which text, pictures, sound or data can be produced or reproduced, with or without the aid of anything else;
Possession of Child Pornography

What Materials Constitute Child Pornography?

In the case of Regina v Oliver a scale was created so that any material which included indecent images of children could be graded. This five-point scale is now commonly referred to as the ‘Oliver Scale’ or a ‘COPINE Scale’. The Oliver Scale stipulates the seriousness of the content of the material and will be taken into account during the sentencing of an offender. For example, an individual who is in possession of a large amount of material that would be classified as COPINE 3,4 or 5, a jail sentence is the starting point.

How Do the Western Australian Police Find Pornographic Material?

Police may find accounts and IP addresses of offenders when websites posting or promoting illegal material are shut down. Many of these sites charge users for access and retain a record of their personal information and IP address. Subsequently, computers are searched and seized and the Police are able to track down those who are/have been involved.

What Do I Do if I Have Been Charged With Child Pornography Offences?

Firstly, you should not make any statements to the police, outside persons or any other individuals regarding the charges. Anything that you say, can be used as evidence to support criminal charges. If you have been charged with this offence, you should seek legal assistance from WN Legal. Our Perth Criminal Lawyers have extensive expertise in this area of law and will guide you through this process.

Our Criminal Defence Lawyers at WN Legal

Your Indecent Assault Lawyers at WN Legal

When you choose WN Legal, you gain a team that is committed to advocating on your behalf, protecting your rights, and diligently working towards a favorable resolution. Our track record speaks for itself as we have helped numerous clients successfully navigate sexual assault charges.

At WN Legal, our years of experience in defending clients facing assault charges have honed our skills and knowledge to a fine edge. In indecent assault cases, we have an in-depth understanding of the courts and the nuanced strategies required to mount a strong defence. Contact WN Legal today, and let our seasoned Assault Lawyers provide you with the expert guidance and representation you deserve.

Testimonials From Previous Clients

Kryan & Khew are extremely compassionate and professional. They are very thorough and don’t miss anything, I was super impressed with their genuine personalities while they remained professional and businesslike throughout my dealing with them. I would not hesitate to recommend my family, friends, and business clients to them.

Kate Stanley

I was recently charged with aggravated common assault. WN Legal represented me from day one till the case was finalized. They are affordable, professional, knowledgeable, and sensitive. They kept me updated on the progress of the case. Despite the seriousness of the charge the outcome was the best I could expect – a fine and spent conviction. I would recommend WN Legal for all your legal problems.

Godwin Dube

“Khew and Aimee were both so amazing and helpful, Khew ran through everything to make sure we understood everything that had to happen and how things would work. I had Aimee with me on the big day and she was super kind and made you feel so comfortable like a best friend was with you, no nerves at all! She even walked me to the car to make sure I was safe, and we came away with a positive outcome 😀 win-win defiantly recommend this company 5 stars.”

Sarah Moralee

“WN Legal are far superior to any legal firm we have dealt with before and they have set the bar so high we doubt we will ever find a legal firm as dedicated and professional.

We dealt mainly with Kyran who was readily accessible and exceeded our expectations. We also found the rest of the team at WN legal to be just as helpful, friendly, and genuine.

We highly recommend WN Legal to anyone.
If we could leave a rating higher than 5 stars we would, Mark and Marina”

Mark Schnierer

“Absolutely the best service. I was treated in a professional manner and when i was about to give up Khew turned around and said i am not ready to give up fighting for you yet. Some of the best words said to me in awhile. Thank you Khew for all your help and support i highly recommend this law firm.”

Skeeta-Marie Stuart

FAQs for Sexual Assault in Western Australia

What is the penalty for sexual assault in WA?

Sexual assault in WA can result in penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or being fined up to $36,000. Sex offences are any criminal activity of a sexual nature.

In Western Australia, what is sexual assault?

Consent is when the person freely and voluntarily agrees to sexual activity and they have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Sexual assault is defined as any sexual behaviour which is threatening, violent, forced, coercive or exploitative and in which the victim has not given or was unable to give consent.

What counts as evidence of sexual assault?

Fingerprints, impression evidence (e.g., shoeprints), trace evidence (e.g., hairs/fibers) and biological evidence (e.g., semen). Collect as much sample as possible from a single source.

In Western Australia, what is the statute of limitations for sexual assault?

Timeframes. There are no time limits on reporting sexual abuse. It can be reported years after the offence and the investigation process can also be suspended and re-opened.

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