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Aggravated Indecent Assault

Aggravated Indecent Assault is an offence under section 61M of the Crimes Act 1900, which applies to conduct before 1 December 2018 and carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You assaulted another person
  2. The assault was indecent
  3. The assault occurred without the other person’s consent
  4. You knew the other person did not consent or were reckless as to whether they were consenting, and
  5. The assault occurred in circumstances of aggravation.

An ‘assault’ includes any unauthorised touching, as well as putting another in immediate fear of unlawful personal violence.

‘Indecent’ means contrary to the ordinary standards of respectable people in the community, and must have a sexual connotation or overtone.

You were ‘reckless’ if you realised there was a possibility the other person was not consenting, but went ahead with your actions regardless.

The assault occurred in ‘circumstances of aggravation’ where:

  1. You were in the company of another person or persons
  2. The other person was under your authority
  3. The other person had a serious physical disability, or
  4. The other person had a cognitive impairment.

The maximum penalty increases to 10 years in prison where the other person was under the age of 16 years.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self-defence.

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