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    Questions are being asked after police took almost two years to lay sexual touching charges over an incident at a popular Sydney beach.

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      sexual touching charges sydney

      Delay in Sexual Touching Charges Against Sydney Man

      Questions are being asked after police took almost two years to lay sexual touching charges over an incident at a popular Sydney beach.

      A 23-year-old woman reported the allegations to police the same day of the incident in 2020.

      However, it took police until February 2022 to charge the accused. He was bail refused and due to appear at Newtown Local Court.

      Sexual Touching Charges in Sydney

      The 46-year-old accused was arrested at his Marrickville home after a police investigation that took almost 2 years.

      The complainant claimed she was climbing rocks at Gordons Bay on 20 March 2020, when she was approached from behind by an unknown man.

      The man allegedly said, “I need to help you” and “you can’t make it up the rocks by yourself” before touching her waist.

      She alleges that he then pulled apart the young woman’s bikini, before groping her breasts and “closed his grip”.

      She attended Eastern Beaches Police Area Command officers later that night and made a formal police statement.

      Following this, an investigation was commenced which led to sexual touching charges being laid against the Sydney man.  

      Delay

      Police explained the delay by claiming they had been making “extensive inquiries”. It is unclear what these inquiries were.

      Given the gap between the incident and the charges being laid, there are a number of potential issues that may affect the strength of the Crown case.

      Identification of the man could well be in issue given he was unknown to the complainant. If police will attempt to rely on DNA evidence, expert testimony on secondary DNA transfer may have a significant effect on the case.

      The defendant was taken to Newtown Police station where he was charged with “sexually touch another person without consent”.

      The 46-year-old was refused bail and appeared at Newtown Local Court the same day. A bail application was made and he was granted bail to reappear on Wednesday, 30 March 2022.

      Sexual Touching Lawyers

      Under Section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), sexual touching is defined as touching another person with any part of your body, or with anything else, in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual.

      To determine whether a reasonable person would find the touching to be sexual, the court can take into account:

      • Whether you did the touching for sexual gratification or arousal
      • The area of the alleged victim’s body that you touched;
      • Anything else about touching or circumstances that might make it sexual.

      Community attitudes have changed significantly since the #metoo movement which has made fighting such allegations more difficult than ever before.

      Our specialist sexual touching lawyers in Sydney have a proven track record of breaking apart prosecution cases by meticulously analysing the statements of alleged victims and cross-examining them to ensure false allegations are exposed. Contact Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at info@astorlegal.com.au to speak to a senior lawyer today.

      Sexual touching charges can be fought in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. You sexually touched the alleged victim, OR
      2. You incited another person to sexual touch the alleged victim or yourself; AND
      3. The alleged victim did not give you consent for that touching; AND
      4. You were aware that you did not have consent for that touching

      The following defences to sexual touching charges apply:

      1. Consent: You held an honest and reasonable belief that the alleged victim was giving consent.
      2. Identification: The Crown cannot establish that you were the perpetrator. We have a number of experts (such as DNA, fingerprint, CCTV and intoxication experts) who are able to cast doubt on identification in certain situations;
      3. There was a legitimate medical purpose for the touching;
      4. Accident: if any touching was purely an accident. An example of this could be bumping into another person on a train and accidentally touching their private parts;
      5. Automatism: This is where the touching was involuntary
      6. Duress: You were forced to commit the offence
      7. Necessity: the commission of the offence was necessary in the circumstances

      The maximum penalty for Sexual touching is 5 years imprisonment if dealt with on indictment (ie. The prosecutor chooses to have the case proceed to the District Court). The maximum penalty in the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment.

      Statistics since 2018 reveal that 33% of offenders were sentenced to some form of jail for this offence. 16% were sentenced to full-time imprisonment. 16% of offenders received no criminal conviction for sexual touching. All remaining offenders received criminal convictions.

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