Rape and Sexual Penetration of a Child Under 16 – Not Guilty Verdict

Our client was facing two criminal charges arising out of one incident. He was charged with Rape and Sexual Penetration of a Child Under 16.

What is alleged to have occured?
His instructions were that the sexual encounter with the complainant was consensual and that she was actually older than her reported age. The complainant had arrived in Australia with her extended family as a refugee. She had put a different date of birth on the immigration documentation than her real age to assist in her application to enter Australia.

What happened to the charges of Rape and Sexual Penetration of a Child Under 16?
We represented the client at the Melbourne County Court.

As a result of our client’s instructions, we issued subpoenas from the Department of Immigration in relation to the complainant and her family’s applications for migration to Australia. Further subpoenas were issued to the refugee camp – to compare the notes of the contemporaneous field interviews and formal documentation on arrival to Australia. The OPP ultimately conceded that there was enough doubt raised about the complainants age that they did not proceed on the basis that she was underage at the time of the sexual encounter, therefore the only issue for the Jury to consider is the issue of consent on the charge of Rape.

What was the result?
The complainants motive to lie was explored at the trial through cross examination of all relevant witnesses and was put before the Jury. After 8 days of trial where all witnesses were cross examined, our client was found not guilty of the charge of rape. 

Josh TaaffeJosh Taaffe

Josh has extensive experience in indictable crime including sex offences, assaults & drug matters.

As an instructing solicitor Josh has specialised in handling complex matters, such as murder and terrorism trials, including State and Commonwealth Supreme Court trials. Josh is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist.

View Josh Taaffe's profile.
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 25/02/2013