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Section 61J Crimes Act 1900
Aggravated Sexual Assault

Section 61J of the Crimes Act is the offence of Aggravated Sexual Assault and is extracted below.

While aggravated sexual assault is a serious offence that carries heavy penalties, with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer you can fight the charges and get a favourable outcome in your case.

Under s 61J, you could face harsher maximum penalties if you are found guilty of aggravated sexual assault, which is a more serious form of sexual assault in ‘circumstances of aggravation.’

There are nine ‘circumstances of aggravation’ under the law. They are:

  • Where you intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm upon the other person during a sexual assault
  • Where you threatened to use a weapon or dangerous instrument
  • Where one or more other people were present when you committed the sexual assault
  • Where the complainant was under the age of 16
  • Where you were in a position of authority over the complainant – e.g. a teacher, employer or carer
  • Where the complainant had a serious cognitive impairment
  • Where the complainant had a serious physical disability
  • Where you committed a ‘break and enter’
  • Where the complainant was deprived of their liberty before or after the sexual assault

Section 61J says that the maximum penalty for ‘aggravated sexual assault’ is 20 years imprisonment, however this is the absolute maximum and only applies in the most serious cases.

The Legislation

Section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900, which deals with Aggravated Sexual Assault, reads as follows:

61J Aggravated Sexual Assault

(1) Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and in circumstances of aggravation and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

(2) In this section, “circumstances of aggravation” means circumstances in which:

(a) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or

(b) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument, or

(b1) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict grievous bodily harm or wounding on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or

(c) the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or

(d) the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, or

(e) the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or

(f) the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or

(g) the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment, or

(h) the alleged offender breaks and enters into any dwelling-house or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence, or

(i) the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

(3) In this section, “building” has the same meaning as it does in Division 4 of Part 4.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.

However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex criminal matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Our criminal law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.

Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.

However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the criminal law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.

We can assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.

For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today. Call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our criminal law specialists.


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