Withdrawing Charges of Indecent Act With a Child Under 16

This is a case study on withdrawing charges of Indecent Act With Child Under 16.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was a teacher who was charged with indecently assaulting one of his female students who was in year seven and eight at the time. The allegations involved him showing her explicit photographs of himself on his laptop, cupping her breast with his hand, and hitting her on her bottom with a ruler. She disclosed the offending when she was in year 10 but the police did not become involved until she had turned 18.

The client denied the allegations.

Kristina Kothrakis acted on the client’s behalf at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court for multiple charges of Indecent Act With a Child Under 16.

What happened at court?
It was clear from the brief of evidence and through instructions received from the client that the complainant unfortunately was a very troubled girl. She had been exhibiting problematic behaviours for a number of years and had deteriorated quite significantly by the time she was in year 10. This resulted in her being hospitalised.

Our position was that the complainant was attention seeking and made up the allegations in this context. There were many inconsistencies in the account she gave the police. As part of the prehearing arguments, we sought leave to access her confidential medical records from the various hospitals she attended with respect to her mental health difficulties. This was done so that we could highlight the unreliability of her account and raise issues with her credibility.

By the time the complainant came to give her statement to the police she had already turned 18. Despite her age, the police took her statement from her in the form of a VARE, which is a video-recorded statement normally reserved for children under 18. The police conducted her interview in this manner because they believed she was cognitively impaired.

At the hearing, the police wanted to play the VARE to the Magistrate. We opposed this course given that the police had not provided us with sufficient evidence to prove her cognitive impairment. At the time of the hearing, the complainant’s mental health was too poor to enable her to give evidence. We continued to put pressure on the prosecution to provide us with the requested reports in the adjourned period.

What was the result?
The prosecution ultimately decided not to proceed with the prosecution and went on withdrawing the charges of Indecent Act With a Child Under 16 against our client.

Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ 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 27/11/2017