Sexual Assault – Not Guilty
This is a case study on a charge of Sexual Assault resulting in a not guilty verdict.
Our client was a small scale property developer who develops town houses on blocks formerly occupied by a single residence. He was in his late 60s, married with adult children, and had never been in trouble in his life. Allegations of sexual assault were made against him involving the girlfriend of one of his sub-contractors.
The alleged circumstances were unusual. The girlfriend was present on a building site and alleged that the client offered to show her around, took her to another town house, took her upstairs, and then tried to kiss her and grabbed her breasts. The complainant complained to her boyfriend and his mother called our client accusing him of misconduct. They then went to the police.
Josh Taaffe provided legal representation for the client at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court. He successfully defended this case in that the charges of Sexual Assault led to a not guilty verdict.
After the client was contacted to attend an interview with the police, he wisely sought advice from a lawyer before going to the interview. He met with Josh who then took instructions about the circumstances and assessed the client’s ability to communicate his side of the story. Together with the client, they settled on a strategy for how our client could best conduct himself in the interview.
Following the interview our client was charged. All along he strongly denied that he had done anything wrong. He pointed out that this was a busy building site and other people were all around. The police had not spoken to any of the others present on the building site.
Josh interviewed three people who were there that day, one outside the townhouse and two who were working inside the townhouse when our client was inside at the same time as the complainant. These important witnesses were identified and then called by the defence at the contested hearing. The two inside witnesses were of particular importance – their evidence meant that our client was never alone with the complainant in the room that she suggested, and during the time that she suggested. Their evidence cast considerable doubt on the complainant’s version of events.
As a result of properly investigating the case and calling these witnesses, our client was found not guilty of the charges of Sexual Assault.
- The accused must have intentionally touched another person;
- The touching must be sexual;
- The other person must not have consented to the touching; and
- The accused must have not reasonably believed that the other person consented to the touching.
Other related case studies:
- Sexual Assault – No Priors
- Sexual Assault – Adjourned Undertaking, Without Conviction
- Community Corrections Order for Sexual Assault
- Diversion for Sexual Assault
- Good Behaviour Bond Without Conviction for Sexual Assault
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.
Visit Josh’s profile to read more about his 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 09/08/2019