Sexual Assault of a Police Officer – Fine, Not Placed on Register

This is a case study involving an accused charged with sexual assault of a police officer.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client, a male in his mid 50s, was charged with sexual assault of a police officer. The circumstances of the offending were that he had been in a car accident and went back to his accommodation where he proceeded to consume some alcohol to calm his nerves. The police were called and went to his accommodation to question him about the accident.

The client voluntarily accompanied the police to the police station in the police vehicle. He was seated in the back of the vehicle next to a female police officer. During the ride back to the station, it was alleged that our client had put his hand on the inner thigh of the police officer. He was, unbeknownst to him at the time, being audio recorded.

What happened at court?
Dee Giannopoulos acted on the client’s behalf at the Mansfield Magistrates’ Court. The charges were:

The prosecution made an application for sex offender registration. Although it is discretionary, the police submitted that there was a real concern that our client would re-offend in the same manner.

The matter was listed for a contest mention. The court was advised that the sticking point in this case was the categorisation of the assault. The prosecution submitted that there should be two charges: one of Assault and one of Sexual Assault. We argued against this and his Honour agreed with our position.

The client’s personal circumstances were specifically put forward and his Honour acknowledged that the client’s judgement was significantly impaired due to the level of alcohol that was consumed following the accident.

Submissions were made with respect to the lack of priors and that there was nothing before the court other than this one brief incident to suggest that our client was a real sexual risk to the community – that being the test for discretionary registration.

What was the result?
Ultimately the magistrate was persuaded not to place our client on the sex offender register. Had the application been granted, he would have been a registrable offender for a period of 8 years. Registration is an onerous obligation which should not be imposed lightly by the court. The client was grateful that our submissions were able to persuade the magistrate not to impose registration in the circumstances.

The client was sentenced to a fine.

Elements 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.
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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.

View Dee Giannopoulos’ 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 26/08//2019