Downgrading a Charge of Sexual Assault Against a Child Under 16

TramThis is a case study on downgrading a charge of Sexual Assault Against a Child Under 16.

Our client was charged following an allegation that he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 16 by touching his genitals outside of his clothing whilst on a tram. The child was aged 15.

Dee Giannopoulos represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on a charge of Intentionally Sexually Touch Child Under the Age of 16.

The client accepted the conduct which occurred at midnight after he had consumed a significant amount of alcohol. The section that the police charged our client under carries with it a mandatory sex offender registration for a period of 8 years because the complainant is particularised as a child.

The solicitor had lengthy discussions with the prosecution about our client's reasonable belief that the young person was aged 16 or over based on his appearance, the clothes that he was wearing, and the fact that he was out on a tram with other young people at midnight on a Saturday.

The prosecution agreed that it was reasonable for our client to have perceived the young person as older than he in fact was, and that there was a possible defence available to him. They agreed to withdraw the charge of Sexual Assault Against a Child Under 16 on the basis that our client accepted responsibility and pleaded guilty to a charge of Sexual Assault pursuant to section 40 of the Crimes Act 1958.

As the alternative charge relates to adults, there was no mandatory sex offender registration. This result - successfully downgrading a charge of Sexual Assault Against a Child Under 16 to Sexual Assault - had a huge impact on our client's future. It meant that our client would not be hindered in terms of employment, travel, and the lengthy and onerous reporting obligations which would have been mandatorily imposed had he pleaded guilty to the charge of Sexual Assault Against a Child Under 16.

Elements of Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 16:

  • The accused intentionally touched another person (C); or
  • The accused intentionally caused or allowed another person (C) to touch the accused; or
  • The accused intentionally caused another person (C):
    • to touch, or to continue to touch, themselves; or
    • to touch, or to continue to touch, another person (P); or
    • to be touched, or to continue to be touched, by P; and
  • C is a child under the age of 16; and
  • The touching is sexual and contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct

 
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Dee Giannopoulosdee-giannopoulos-profile

Dee is based in our Melbourne office and appears at all Courts in Victoria. Dee’s commitment to her clients and her passion for justice drives her to achieve great results.

Visit Dee’s profile to read more about her background and experience.
 


DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 05/02/2019