Indecent Assault Case in the Magistrates Court
Our client was charged with indecent assault committed on his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
Crimes Act 1958, s39(1): A person must not commit indecent assault.
“Indecent” has its ordinary meaning in the English language. It is for the jury to decide whether the facts amount to indecency, however, there must be a sexual connotation for an act to be considered indecent.
Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum)
What our client received
Community Correction Order for 18months
Our client is the victim’s stepfather. The alleged incidents amounting to indecent assault included touching the victim on her breasts and vagina over the top of her clothes while she was asleep. This occurred on multiple occasions over a period of 2 months.
Initially, this matter was deemed to be too serious for the Magistrates Court to hear. However, after lengthy negotiations with the Prosecution, we succeeded in having the matter returned back into the Magistrates Court stream. The Prosecution offered to resolve the matter if our client pleaded guilty to a small number of the charges, and they would, in return, withdraw all the remaining charges. In addition, significant alterations were made to the summary of facts.
Leading up to his court date, our client was proactive in taking steps to change his behaviour, including seeking help from a number of psychologists.
This case was favourable as the client avoided an immediate term of imprisonment. The Magistrate imposed the Community Correction Order for 18 months with the following conditions:
- 200 hours of unpaid community work
- A mental health assessment and treatment as well as participating in offending behaviour programs.
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