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Sexual Assault by Forced Self Manipulation

Sexual Assault by Forced Self-Manipulation is an offence under Section 80A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

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

  1. You compelled another person to engage in self-manipulation, and
  2. You did so by making a threat that the person could not reasonably be expected to resist

‘Self-manipulation’ is defined as:

Penetration of the vagina, including a surgically constructed vagina, or the anus of a person, by an object manipulated by that person.

A ‘threat’ means:

  1. A threat of physical force, or
  2. Intimidatory or coercive conduct, or other threat which does not involve a threat of physical force

The maximum penalty increases to 20 years in prison where the offence is committed in circumstance of aggravation which are where:

  1. You intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm (ABH)
  2. You threatened to inflict ABH by means of an offensive weapon or implement
  3. You were with another person or persons
  4. The complainant was under the age of 16 years
  5. The complainant was under your authority
  6. The complainant had a serious physical disability or cognitive impairment

‘Actual bodily harm’ is that which is more than more than ‘transient or trifling’ and includes lasting cuts or bruises.

The offence does not extend to acts carried out for proper medical purposes.

An ‘offensive weapon or implement’ is:

  1. A dangerous weapon
  2. Anything made or adapted for offensive purposes, whether or not it is ordinarily used for offensive purposes or capable of causing harm

A ‘dangerous weapon’ is:

  1. A firearm or imitation firearm
  2. A prohibited weapon, or
  3. A spear gun

A defence to the charge is that you did not know that the other person engaged in the act due to your threat.

Other defences include:

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

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