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Threat to Commit Sexual Offence

In Victoria, section 43 of the Crimes Act 1958 is the offence of Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence which is making another believe that they will be harmed to compel them to perform a sexual act.

Do the Police say that you made a threat to commit a sexual offence? You should call us to arrange a confidential conference with one of experienced defence lawyers. You must know everything about the process so that you do not say or do anything which prevents you from running a defence. There are two advantages to using our firm which distinguish us from others:

  1. We specialise in sex offence matters, and
  2. We have in-house counsel who can run your case if it goes to trial. Therefore, we can create a defence strategy for you even before you attend the Police station for an interview.

Threat to Commit Sexual Offence

You need to know your rights from the very beginning. You also need to have a plan from the very beginning.

Our lawyers are experienced in representing people charged with Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence. We know what issues in the Police investigation to look for to secure an acquittal.

Police interview for Threats to Commit a Sexual Offence
If the Police want to speak with you about an allegation of Threat to Commit Sexual Offence, speak with us before the Police. Anything you tell the Police can make running a defence more difficult. You need to be advised how to protect yourself during the entire process. Sometimes, waiting until after the Police interview before speaking with a lawyer can be too late. The Police are trained investigators and know how to get admissions.

If you do not feel comfortable going to the Police station by yourself, we can go with you. We have sat on many Police interviews and protected our clients from answering questions they are not required to answer. Dealing with criminal charges requires foresight and strategic thinking.

Pleading not guilty
Our lawyers are experts in sex charges. You want a lawyer who will fight for you. Have the Police not provided all the evidence or not taken statements from all the witnesses? Is there evidence that proves you are not guilty? Are there people we can take statements from?

Pleading guilty
Our lawyers have achieved great outcomes for people who have pleaded guilty to Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they get the best outcome. The key to a good plea is making sure that you get the necessary documents and reports, and help the Judge to understand your story.

  • Contact an expert in charges of Threat 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 matter is a serious matter and is heard in the County Court before a judge and jury.
 
What is the legal definition of Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence
The legal definition of Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence is when somebody (A) threatens to rape or to sexually assault another person (B) or a third person (C). The person threatening must:

  • Intend that the person they are threatening will believe; or
  • Believe that the person they are threatening will probably believe,
– that the person threatening will carry out the threat.

A threat may be made by words or conduct and may be implicit or explicit.

Examples of Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence
  • Someone threatens to rape another person.
  • Someone threatens to sexually assault another person’s daughter.
Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 43 of the Crimes Act 1958:

Threat to commit a sexual offence
  1. A person (A) commits an offence if—
    1. A makes to another person (B) a threat to rape or sexually assault B or a third person (C); and
    2. A intends that B will believe, or believes that B will probably believe, that A will carry out the threat.
  2. Words or conduct may constitute a threat for the purposes of subsection (1) if by those words or that conduct an intention to do any of the following is conveyed—
    1. to sexually penetrate or sexually touch B or C without B or C’s consent;
    2. to cause B or C, without B or C’s consent, to sexually penetrate or sexually touch—
      1. A; or
      2. C or B (as the case requires); or
      3. themselves; or
      4. another person; or
      5. an animal;
    3. to cause B or C, without B or C’s consent, to be sexually penetrated or sexually touched by another person or by an animal.
  3. A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).
  4. For the purposes of this section, a threat may be made by words or conduct and may be explicit or implicit.1
Elements of the offence
The prosecution must prove the following elements for an accused to be found guilty:

  • The accused made to another person (C) a threat to rape or sexually assault C or a third person (P); and
  • The accused intended that C will believe, or will probably believe, that the accused will carry out the threat; and
  • The threat, either by words or conduct, intended:
    • to sexually penetrate C or P without C or P’s consent; or
    • to cause C or P, without C or P’s consent, to sexually penetrate or sexually touch the accused, or C or P as the case requires, themselves, another person, or an animal; or
    • to cause C or P, without C or P’s consent, to be sexually penetrated or sexually touched by another person or by an animal

[1] Australian legal Information Institute. “Crimes Act 1958 – Section 43: Threat to commit a sexual offence.” Austlii.edu.au. http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca195882/s43.html (accessed June 22, 2020).
 
  • The threat did not relate to a sexual offence.
  • There was no threat.
There are other possible defences depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • How can they prove that a threat has been made?
  • How can they prove that the threat was to rape or sexually assault?
 
Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence has a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
 
Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria

Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Threaten to Commit a Sexual Offence in the Magistrates' CourtsBy pleading guilty to Threat to Commit a Sexual Offence, you may receive a prison sentence or a Community Correction Order. You can reduce your risk of receiving a prison sentence by:

  • Demonstrating sincere remorse,
  • Undertaking a course to address the offending,
  • Providing character references which demonstrates your otherwise good character.

The Court in DPP v Bolton said that a Community Correction Order allows a sentencing Court to tailor a punishment that promotes rehabilitation. However, properly prepared submissions need to be made to persuade the Court that you are open to receiving treatment.