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Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence

In Victoria, section 42 of the Crimes Act 1958 contains the offence of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence which is the unwanted application of physical force with the intention of performing an unwanted sexual act.

Have you been accused of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence? We can help you by answering your important legal questions in confidence.

Assault to Commit Sex Offences
We are defence lawyers who have a proven track record in defending people accused of sexual offences such as Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence. We know how to run successful defences and can prepare the best defence strategy for you.

Being accused of a sexual offence can have a devastating effect on a person. Being accused of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence is especially serious because it involves an element of violence.

Police Interview
Anything you say to the Police can become evidence against you.

You may want to know – should I make a statement to the Police? Should I attend a Police interview? Do I need to give my DNA? Will the Police release me if I explain my side of the story?

Call us immediately if the Police want to speak with you about an allegation of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence.

We can go to the Police Station with you for an interview.

Pleading not guilty
Your lawyer needs to push the Police so the investigation is fair. Are there people who can give statements that would help you? What have they not investigated that they should? Is there proof that there was consent? How is intention proved?

The answer to these questions can lead to a charge of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence being withdrawn before a trial. These answers may be the reason for you to be found not guilty at trial.

We are criminal defence lawyers who are experts in sex matters and have successfully defended a lot of people. We believe it is very important for our clients to understand what charges they are facing and what they mean. Preparing a case strategy early is critical to increasing the chances of charges being withdrawn or obtaining no conviction at trial.

Pleading guilty
We will help you to prepare your plea to get the possible outcome if you are pleading guilty to Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence. We will arrange the necessary documents or reports for your Court appearance. These documents generally have a significant effect on the penalty you get from the Court.

  • Contact an expert in charges of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence on (03) 9670 5111.
  • We provide a free first phone conference.
  • Download our free booklet to learn more about the Investigation and Court process.

This is an indictable offence, which means that it must be heard in the County Court.

Examples of Assault with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence
  • A man grabs a stranger in a suburban park and forces her to the ground with the intention of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, when 2 passers-by arrive at the scene. The man then flees.
  • A man forces his way into a stranger’s house and tries to force sex on her. The man runs away when the woman calls the police.
Our client went to an apartment where he thought his sister’s violent ex-partner was. Our client found the ex-partner wasn’t there. The person who was actually present gave an initial statement where she described our client calming down, handing over the scissors he was armed with and then leaving.

Some weeks later this person provided another statement to the police wherein she alleged that our client had led her upstairs in the apartment and told her he wanted to have sex with her.

The client then faced charges of Aggravated Burglary and False Imprisonment and a charge of Assault With Intent to Rape (now called Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence) founded on the second statement.

We negotiated for the withdrawal of the Assault With Intent to Rape charge, and our client pleaded guilty to the other 2 charges.
What is the legal definition of Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence?
The legal definition of Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence is when someone assaults another person as part of an attempt to force them into a sexual act.

Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 42 of the Crimes Act 1958.

Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence
  1. A person (A) commits an offence if—
    1. A intentionally applies force to another person (B); and
    2. B does not consent to the application of that force; and
    3. at the time of applying that force A intends that B take part in a sexual act; and
    4. A does not reasonably believe that B would consent to taking part in that sexual act.
  2. A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum).
  3. A may commit an offence against subsection (1) even if B is not aware of the application of force by A.
  4. Force for the purposes of subsection (1) may be applied—
    1. directly or indirectly; or
    2. to the body of, or to clothing or equipment worn by, B.
  5. In subsection (1)—
    “application of force” includes—
    1. application of heat, light, electric current or any other form of energy; and
    2. application of matter in solid, liquid or gaseous form.1
Elements of the offence
The following are elements of the charge of Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence:

  • The accused intentionally applied force to another person (V); and
  • The person (V) did not consent to the application of that force; and
  • The accused intended for V to take part on a sexual act at the time of applying the force; and
  • The accused did not reasonably believe that V would consent to taking part in that sexual act.

[1] Australian legal Information Institute. “Crimes Act 1958 – Section 42: Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence.” Austlii.edu.au. http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca195882/s42.html (accessed June 17, 2020).

 
What are possible defences to an Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence charge?
  • The sexual act was consensual.
  • There was no intention to commit a sexual offence.
There are other possible defences depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

“Can they prove an intention to commit a sexual offence?”
Questions in cases like this
  • How do they prove the intention to commit a sexual offence?
  • Was the sexual interaction consensual?

The maximum penalty for this offence is level 4 imprisonment (15 years).
 
Assault With Intent to Commit a Sexual Offence is a very serious offence that will normally result in a gaol term if you are found guilty.