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Criminal Law » Sexual Offences » Aggravated Sexual Assault in Company

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Aggravated Sexual Assault in Company

Aggravated sexual assault in company is an offence under section 61JA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum penalty is imprisonment for life. The standard non-parole period is imprisonment for 15 years.

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What the prosecution must prove

To prove an aggravated sexual assault in company, the prosecution must show beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • A person had sexual intercourse with another person;
  • The sexual intercourse occurred without their consent;
  • The person knew they were not consenting;
  • The sexual intercourse occurred whilst in the company of another person; and
  • At the time, immediately before or immediately after the commission of the offence, the person:
    • Threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby or
    • Threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or
    • Deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.

What is “sexual intercourse”?

Sexual intercourse is defined as the penetration of the genitals of a female or the anus or mouth of any person by the body of another person or an object manipulated by another person. Sexual intercourse also includes cunnilingus.

What constitutes “without consent”?

A person knows that the other person does not consent to sexual intercourse if:

  • The person knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse;
  • The person is reckless as to whether the other person consents to the sexual intercourse;
  • The person has no reasonable grounds for believing that the other person consents to the sexual intercourse.

Defences

You may have a defence if:

  • You did not have sexual intercourse with the complainant
  • The complainant consented to the sexual intercourse

The onus is on the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Will I go to jail?

This offence is regarded as among the most serious offences, reflected in the maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Upon conviction a full-time custodial sentence is highly likely. The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) prescribes a standard non-parole period of 15 years.