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Sexual Touching

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The offence of ‘Sexual touching’ came into effect in 2018. It is intended to replace the charge of Indecent assault.

Facing such a charge is a frightening experience for not only yourself, but your friends and family as well. That is why it is important to speak to an experienced sexual touching lawyer as soon as possible.

We have over 10 years’ experience defending both indecent assault and sexual touching charges. You can see our recent results for sexual touching charges.

Contact us today to speak to our Law Society accredited specialist criminal lawyer.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  • PLEADING NOT GUILTY

    What is Sexual Touching?

    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.

     

    This is a ‘Table 2’ offence under the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW). As such, it is finalised in the Local Court unless the prosecution elects to deal with it in the District Court.

     

    How Do You Beat a Sexual Touching Charge?

    You can fight a sexual touching charge 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

     

    Secondly, there are defences open to you.

    Any allegation of a sexual nature is treated extremely seriously. Since the #metoo movement, there has been a significant change in the attitudes of Magistrates, Judges and juries which has made fighting such allegations more difficult than ever before.

    That is why it is crucial that you speak to a specialist criminal lawyer for sexual touching charges as soon as possible to begin preparing your defence.

    Contact us today to speak to our friendly team.

     

    What is Aggravated Sexual Touching?

    Under Section 61KD of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), the definition if aggravated sexual touching is touching someone in a sexual manner while a circumstance of aggravation exists.

    This is a ‘Table 1’ offence under the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW). As such, it is finalised in the Local Court unless you or the prosecution elects to deal with it in the District Court.

     

    How Do You Beat an Aggravated Sexual Touching Charge?

    You can fight an Aggravated sexual touching charge in two ways. In addition to the elements of a regular sexual touching offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

    1. you were with another person or persons at the time of the offence; or
    2. the alleged victim was under your authority; or
    3. the alleged victim suffered from a serious physical disability or a cognitive impairment.

     

    If none of the above elements can be proven, you can be found ‘not guilty’ of this offence. However, you may still be guilty of a regular sexual touching offence.

    Secondly, there are defences which are available.

     

    What are the Defences to Sexual Touching?

    You can be found ‘not guilty’ to this charge if one of the following defences to sexual touching apply:

    1. Consent: You held an honest and reasonable belief that the alleged victim was giving
    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
  • PLEADING GUILTY

    If after receiving detailed advice from an accredited specialist in criminal law, you decide that the best course if for you to plead guilty, we will need to begin preparing for sentencing.

    Our guide will be of some general assistance, but you will need to consult a specialist sexual touching lawyer for representation in Court and advice specific to your case.

    Contact us now to speak to our friendly team.

     

    What is the Penalty for Sexual Touching?

    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.

    There is also an offence of Aggravated Sexual Touching which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment if dealt with on indictment (ie. If the case proceeds to the District Court). The maximum penalty in the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment.

     

    What are the Possible Sentences for Sexual Touching?

    Below is a list of sentencing options for sexual touching charges:

    1. Section 10 dismissal
    2. Conditional release order without conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
    3. Fine
    4. Conditional release order with conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
    5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
    6. Intensive Corrections Order
    7. Home Detention Order
    8. Full Time Imprisonment

     

    Offences of this nature often result in a term of imprisonment. This is borne out in the sentencing statistics set out below.

     

    Will You Go to Jail for Sexual Touching?

    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.

    As you can see, the Courts take this offence very seriously. That is why you should consult Australia’s best sexual touching lawyers.