Sexual Offences and Sexual Assault Lawyers

Consequences of Sexual Offences

In Western Australia, persons convicted of sexual offences must be placed on a registry known as the Community Protection Offender Register or simply the Register. The registry is governed under The Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004. If you have been charged with a sexual offence or sexual assault in WA, contact WN Legal’s defence lawyers today for legal advice on how to handle your case.

Types of Sexual Offences and Charges We Cover

Our Perth Criminal sexual assault and offence lawyers commonly deal with the following types of cases:

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.

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.

Indecent Dealings/Sexual Offences Against a Child

Sections 320 and 321 of the Criminal Code establish offences related to indecent conduct with a child. An individual can be charged with indecently dealing with a child if they engage in any of the following actions:

  1. Engaging in sexual penetration, liable to imprisonment with a child
  2. Procuring, inciting, or encouraging a child to participate in sexual behaviour with a child
  3. Indecent dealings with a child
  4. Procuring, inciting, or encouraging a child to perform an indecent act
  5. Indecently recording a child
Possession of Child Pornography

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;

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 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.

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.

Will I be put on the Sex Offender Register? Will my details be made public?

Depending on the type of sex offence, it is mandatory to register an offender on the Sex Offender Register once the offender is convicted (ie once the offender enters a plea of guilty or if found guilty after trial). Your details will be made available on a register. However, any person who intends to access the Sex Offender Register will have to make themselves known to the relevant authorities before they can access the Sex Offender Register.

Do sexual offence charges carry mandatory sentencing or mandatory imprisonment?

There are no mandatory sentencing provisions for sex offences. However, depending on the severity of the charge, the nature of the offending, and the facts asserted by the prosecution or State, the penalty will vary.

For instance the charge of sexual penetration without consent of a minor will inevitably have a different sentencing outcome as compared to a charge of indecent assault.

The police want to speak to me about a sexual offence. Do I have to speak to them?

You have the right to remain silent. You must give them your name, address and driver’s licence. If requested, you must also provide your DNA sample.

If you wish to speak to the police during a police interview or at any other time, the police may use your admissions as evidence at trial. If your admission is inconsistent or rebuttable, then this may work against you.

To simply put it, it truly depends on the circumstances of your case.

What are the penalties for indecent dealings with a child?

Per Sections 320 and 321 of the Criminal Code,

  • Where the child is under 13 years a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
  • Where the child is over 13 years but under 16 years a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.
  • Where the child is under 16 years and the child is under the care, supervision or authority of the offender a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
  • Where the child is under 18 years and the child is under the care, supervision or authority of the offender a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

What is the offence against a child under a position of authority?

The offence against a child under a position of authority in Western Australia is addressed in the Criminal Code. According to the Criminal Code Compilation Act, it is a criminal offence to engage in sexual activity with or procure, incite, or encourage sexual activity with a child under the age of 18 who is under the care, supervision, or authority of an adult.

The penalties for such offences are outlined in the Act, with imprisonment being a potential consequence. The law aims to protect children from abuse due to the power imbalance between adults and children, recognizing the vulnerability of children and the lack of true equality in dealings between children and adults

What level of proof is needed for a conviction for a sexual offence?

In Western Australia, the level of proof needed for a conviction for a sexual offence is governed by the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913. For most sexual offences against adults, the absence of consent is an essential element. Consent is defined in Section 319 of the act as free and voluntary agreement.

It is specified that a person is not to be taken to consent simply because they do not offer resistance, and a child under 13 cannot consent to a sexual act. The act also outlines that where a child is under a person’s care, he or she must be 18 to validly consent to sex with that person

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    WN Legal – Perth’s Leading Law Firm for Sexual Assault Charges

    As a boutique practice, we provide highly personalised legal services to individuals looking to get a matter dealt with quickly and effectively by our lawyers.

    Whether you’re facing charges or have just been informed by the Police that they want to “have a word with you”, you should know your rights and what they are looking to do with your case.

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