Rape, Sexual Penetration of a Child – Not Guilty

The accused was in an on again-off again relationship with the complainant over a period of about 18 months. From the beginning, the relationship was a sexual one. When the couple commenced their relationship, the complainant was 15 years of age and the accused was 19.

The relationship was said to have ended in 2006. After this, according to the complainant, the accused had raped her numerous times. She did not complain to the police until 2007 and charges were not laid against the accused until 2011.

The accused was charged with what amounted to two groups of charges:

Eleven (11) charges relating to sexual penetration of a child under 16 years (representing sex between the accused and complainant while she was still 15, which was consensual sex but illegal by virtue of the complainant’s age)

Ten (10) charges of rape or attempted rape (the complainant alleged that the accused forced sex on her when she was not consenting and included allegations of raping her while she was asleep, and of binding her hands with tape while he penetrated her both vaginally and anally)

The accused pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and the matter went to a trial and we represented him at the Melbourne County Court. The accused said that he had a reasonable belief that she was over 16 years of age at the time he was having sex with the complainant and that, in relation to the rape charges, he either stopped when he was told to stop or that the sex was consensual.

The complainant gave evidence about the alleged sexual offending and said that she had told a number of her friends about the offending. This evidence was directly contradicted by the complainant’s friends.

Further, in relation to the allegations of sex while the complainant was under 16, there was evidence that the complainant (while under 16) would drink alcohol, smoke, attend night clubs and associate with a much older group of friends, giving the impression that she was older than she was.

The barrister for the accused argued that given the contradictions between the evidence of the complainant and that of her friends, the complainant’s evidence was unreliable and could not be used to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Following deliberations, the jury found the accused not guilty of all charges.

 


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