Sexual Assault- Section 61I of Crimes Act 1900

Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and knew that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse

Maximum Penalty

This offence carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 14 years, with a standard non-parole (SNPP) of 7 years.

An SNPP is a guidepost for the sentencing judges when determining the period of time, a person will receive custodial sentence before being eligible for parole.

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

The offence is established if the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • You engaged in a sexual intercourse with the victim
  • The victim did not consent
  • You knew that victim was not consenting, or was reckless as to consent

Sexual Intercourse is defined as the following:

Sexual connection occasioned by the penetration to any extent of the genitalia (including a surgically constructed vagina) of a female person or the anus of any person by:

  •  Any part of the body of another person, or
  • Any object manipulated by another person, or
  • Except where the penetration is carried out for proper medical purposes,
  • Sexual connection occasioned by the introduction of any part of the penis of a person into the mouth of another person, or
  • Cunnilingus, or
  • The continuation of sexual intercourse as per above

Consent is defined as the following:

A person who without the consent of the other person (the alleged victim) engages in a sexual activity with or towards the alleged victim, incites the alleged victim to engage in a sexual activity or incites a third person to engage in a sexual activity with or towards the alleged victim, knows that the alleged victim does not consent to the sexual activity if:

  • The person knows that the alleged victim does not consent to the sexual activity, or
  • The person is reckless as to whether the alleged victim consents to the sexual activity, or
  • The person has no reasonable grounds for believing that the alleged victim consents to the sexual activity.

Pleading Guilty

It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.

If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to sexual assault after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence. 

Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment

The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.

The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.

Types of Penalties

Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:

  • Conditional Release Order
  • Fine

Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.

Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references, and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.

These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with sexual assault, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced sexual assault lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.