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Charges of Sexual Touching Without Consent Dropped

CRIMINAL CASE

Our client is employed with an information technology company in Sydney.

He was charged with one count of sexually touching a female without her consent.

The accusations arose after a work Christmas party in North Sydney.

According to the police, the complainant and our client attended the party and had several alcoholic drinks.

Later in the night, a group of 13 people from the party proceeded to a bar in the Sydney CBD.

The complainant and two of her friends then invited our client to the complainant’s unit in Chatswood, in Sydney’s northern suburbs.

The complainant told police that after eating food at the apartment, she fell asleep on the couch before awaking to our client lying beside her and stroking her vagina.

She told police the next day that she did not consent to the conduct, and officers swiftly arrested and charged our client with sexual touching against.

The conduct of police was immature given their failure to investigate the credibility of the allegations before pressing charges; indeed, charges were brought before police interviewed those present at the apartment, let alone at the Christmas party.

The investigative work was therefore left to our defence team, who quickly obtained statements that undermined the allegations regarding the lack of consent.

It is unfortunate that despite the enormous resources at the disposal of police, they frequently see fit to press charges against people without undertaking investigative work.

This is partly due to the fact that, unlike police officers in countries such as the United States who must establish ‘probable cause’ before they can charge a person with a criminal offence, officers in our state need only a ‘suspicion on reasonable grounds’ to press charges – which is akin to a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ state of affairs.

The prosecution withdrew the charge pursuant to defence ‘representations’, which are detailed written submissions identifying inconsistencies, deficiencies and other weaknesses in the police case and formally requesting the discontinuance of proceedings.

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