Aggravated Sexual Assault

Aggravated sexual assault is an offence under Section 61 Capital J of the crimes act here in New South Wales. It’s where a person has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person, knowing that the other person does not consent. And in what’s called circumstances of aggravation the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment, and it’s what’s called a strictly indictable offence, which means that it must be finalised in the higher courts, such as a district court. It cannot be finalised in the local court. The offence has what’s called a standard non-parole period and that’s ten years. That means 10 years in jail is a reference point for the judge when deciding how long to keep someone in jail. For you to be found guilty of aggravated sexual assault the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that, one, you had sexual intercourse with another person, and sexual intercourse is defined in another video that we have. Number two, that the other person did not consent. And three, that you knew the other person did not consent, or you are reckless as to whether or not they consented, or you had no reasonable grounds for believing that the other person consented, and again consent is defined in another video that we have. The fourth thing is that there was a circumstance of aggravation. All of those four things must be proved beyond reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty. There are nine circumstances of aggravation, at least one of which must be proved for you to be found guilty. The first is that you intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm upon the other person. Second is that you threatened to use a weapon or instrument. Number three that you were with someone else at the time. Four is that the other person was under 16 years of age. Five is you’re in a position of authority, such as a teacher, babysitter, or carer. Number six is that the other person had what’s called a cognitive impairment. Number seven is that they had a serious physical disability. Eight is that you broke into the premises with intention to commit a serious offence. And the last is that the other person was deprived of their liberty before or after the offence. You are not guilty of the offence if there was no sexual intercourse, or there was consent, or you believe that consent was given by the other person, or if the act was for a proper medical purpose. Less common defences include self-defence, necessity, and duress. The prosecution must also prove that there was a circumstance of aggravation. If they can’t you may be found guilty of the less serious offense of sexual assault instead. If you are guilty of the offence the sentencing statistics suggest that the most common penalty is full time imprisonment with over ninety-five percent of people who are guilty being sentenced to prison. The average prison sentence is a seven year full term with a four-year non-parole period, and the non-parole period is the period that you must spend in jail before you can apply to get out.

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