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    A groom has been found guilty of indecent assault involving one of his wife’s bridesmaids just two days before their wedding.

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      indecent assault

      The Offence of Indecent Assault

      Posted By , on May 15, 2022

      A groom has been found guilty of indecent assault involving one of his wife’s bridesmaids just two days before their wedding.

      Daniel Carney was found guilty four charges following an incident during his wedding festivities.

      The jury, made up of seven men and five women, delivered the verdicts after nine hours of deliberations.

      He was granted bail after surrendering security of $750,000 pending the sentencing on July 26.

      Consent and Intoxication

      Daniel Carney was charged with attempted sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and assault.

      He was acquitted on a charge of attempted sexual intercourse without consent.

      Carney’s lawyer, Jim Swetz, told People magazine they were disappointed by the outcome of the trial and planned to file an appeal.

      Police alleged that the 30-year-old groom indecently assaulted one of his wife’s bridesmaids in a shower following a pre-wedding rafting trip.

      Central to the Crown case was that the complainant was too drunk to consent.

      However, Carney’s defence claimed the 29-year-old bridesmaid was conscious and knew what she was doing with Carney in the shower.

      During the trial, Carney’s wife, Nicole Carney, gave evidence in her husband’s defence.

      She told the court that when she caught the pair in the locker room shower, the woman was “conscious and aware”.

      The accused claimed that the bridesmaid instigated the sexual encounter and followed him into the locker room, where he had gone to take a shower.

      Under cross-examination however, prosecutors highlighted that he did not take any bathing items with him.

      The bridesmaid told the court that she blacked out. Her first memory was Mr Carney biting her hand and grabbing her. She then blacked out again, and said she later woke up to discover Carney on top of her and her bikini bottom off.

      When the bride noticed her groom and bridesmaid’s absence, she went looking for them and found the pair in the locker room shower. She screamed and ran to find her maid of honour.

      The following morning, Mr Carney called the bridesmaid to apologise. She told him she felt extremely violated and upset.

      He again apologised on the day of the wedding and begged her to take an emergency contraceptive pill.

      It was only after the wedding that the bridesmaid reported the incident to the police. She was taken to hospital to be examined by medics, who found 13 bruises all over her body.

      Criminal defence lawyers suggested the injuries were caused by repeatedly falling during the rafting trip.

      However, expert medical evidence suggested that her condition was consistent with the offence of indecent assault.

      What is Indecent Assault?

      Indecent assault is any act of touching that right minded persons would consider contrary to community standards.

      It is contained in Section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) however has now been replaced by the offence of sexual touching.

      In determining whether actions are contrary to community standards, the court consider:

      • 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 contrary to community standards.

      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 an Indecent Assault Charge?

      You can beat an indecent assault charge if the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. you assaulted the alleged victim; and
      2. that assault was contrary to community standards; and
      3. the alleged victim did not give you consent; and
      4. you either:

      a) knew that the alleged victim was not consenting; or

      b) realised there was a possibility the alleged victim was not consenting but went ahead anyway; or

      c) did not consider whether the alleged victim was consenting or not.

      Defences to Indecent Assault

      You can be found ‘not guilty’ to an offence of indecent assault if:

      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

      Any sexual allegations are treated extremely seriously. The #metoo movement has engendered a significant change in the attitudes of Magistrates, Judges and juries. The particular emphasis on historical sexual allegations has made fighting such accusations more difficult than ever before.

      That is why it is crucial that you speak to a specialist criminal lawyer for indecent assault charges as soon as possible to begin preparing your defence. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

      What is Aggravated Indecent Assault?

      Under Section 61M of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), aggravated indecent assault is touching someone in a manner contrary to community standards while a circumstance of aggravation exists.

      The most common circumstance is due to the alleged victim being under the age of 16, sometimes known as indecent assault on a minor.

      Penalties for Indecent Assault

      The maximum penalty for indecent assaultis 5 years’ imprisonment.  

      This increases to 7 years for the offence of aggravated indecent assault.

      Can you go to jail for Indecent assault?

      Yes, you can go to jail for indecent assault. Sentencing statistics 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 indecent assault. 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 indecent assault lawyers.

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