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Sexual Offences – Persons With a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs

In Victoria, section 52 of the Crimes Act 1958 is Sexual Offences Against a Person with a Cognitive Impairment by Program Providers, which is where a carer or social worker commits a sexual act with a person under their care with a cognitive impairment.

Have you been accused by Police of Sexual Offences Against Persons with a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs? Has someone rung and talked to you about these allegations?

Victim of Sexual Offences - Persons With a Cognitive Impairment
Police interview
Do not wait until after the Police interview to get in touch with us as there is a lot of advice that may assist you in your case. You should be making informed decisions about how your case will proceed. We can arrange a confidential conference with you to answer your questions and give you strategic advice.

You may want to know:

  • What you should tell the Police?
  • Should you make a statement?
  • Should you explain your side of the story?
  • Do you need to provide your DNA?
  • Will your employment be affected?
We can also attend an interview with you to support you and give you legal advice.

Pleading not guilty to offences
Being accused of Sexual Offences Against a Person with a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs can have a devastating effect on you. It can negatively impact your reputation and your employment.

We will discuss with you all important issues to consider in defending against this charge. Have the Police spoken to everyone they should? Is there DNA evidence? Is there exonerating evidence which needs to be gathered? Is there phone data that needs to be gathered or protected? Is the investigation fair?

The answer to these questions can lead to charges being withdrawn before a trial. It can also mean that you get found not guilty after a trial.

Pleading guilty to sex offences
The Courts consider allegations of Sexual Offences Against a Person with a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs seriously because the offending is characterised as preying on the very vulnerable.

Preparing a case strategy for a plea of guilty as soon as possible is very important.

We know what Judges need to hear on a plea of guilty to arrive at an appropriate outcome. Our lawyers have a lot of experience gathering the material to get the best possible result.

  • Contact an expert in charges of Sexual Offences Against a Person with a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs on (03) 9670 5111.
  • We provide a free first phone conference.
  • Download our free booklet to learn more about the Investigation and Court process.
The most obvious defences in cases such as these are factual disputes – ie. the accused denies that they have ever committed the offence on the cognitively impaired person. Obviously, depending on the circumstances, the issue of whether a person actually was cognitively impaired could well become an issue. Also, whether a person is, in fact, the provider of a special program could be a defence.
 
What penalties can be imposed for a charge of Sexual Offences – Persons With a Cognitive Impairment By Providers of Special Programs?
  • Adjournment of the Charges on Undertaking (Good Behaviour Bond)
  • Fine
  • Community Corrections Order
  • Suspended Prison Sentence
  • Term of Imprisonment
You may also visit this page to view sentencing decisions by Victorian County Courts for sexual offences against the cognitively impaired.
 
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 52 of Crimes Act 1958.
 
Sentencing in the higher courts
Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Sexual Penetration of Cognitively Impaired Resident By Facility Worker in the Higher Courts
Victorian Courts treat sexual offences committed by people in a position of power against vulnerable members of our community seriously. By pleading guilty to this offence, you can expect to receive a prison sentence, Community Correction Order or fine depending on the gravity and nature of the offending. Judges have remarked in cases like this that there is a community expectation that people who are found guilty of this offence receive stern punishment because it is a breach of trust (DPP v Ranwala [2016] VCC 31).

Undertaking offence specific treatment before the plea hearing is key to a good outcome.

There are also professional consequences which flow from a finding of guilt to Sexual Offence Against a Person with a Cognitive Impairment by a Program Providers. It will normally result in your employment being terminated. This can be regarded as extra-curial punishment, which the Court should be made aware of during the plea hearing. It is necessary to get a letter from your employer to provide the Court with evidence of any action your employer has taken.