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Indecent Assault

Indecent Assault is an offence under section 61L of the Crimes Act 1900 which applies to conduct before 1 December 2018, and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

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

  1. You assaulted another person
  2. Your assault was indecent
  3. Your assault was without the other person’s consent, and
  4. You knew the other person did not consent or were reckless as to whether they were consenting.

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.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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