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Sexual Offences SA

Sexual offences are considered to be very heinous offences in Australian Courts, and as such, they carry serious penalties. These serious penalties increase further, where the victim of sexual crimes are children.

Consent to Sexual Activity

The definition of consent to sexual activity can be found under Section 46 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935. Sexual activity, which includes sexual intercourse, is considered consensual if the person consenting does so freely and voluntarily.
Circumstances in which a person is taken not to freely and voluntarily agree to sexual activity include, but are not limited to:

  • An agreement due to application of force (or an express or implied threat), or fear of force to the person, or some other person.
  • A threat (express or implied) to degrade, disgrace, harass or humiliate the person or some other person.
  • If the person is unlawfully detained
  • If the sexual activity occurs when the person is asleep, unconscious, or intoxicated (by any substance) to the point of being incapable of freely and voluntarily agreeing to the activity
  • If the person agrees to the activity with a mistaken belief as to the identity of the offending person
  • If the person does not understand the nature of the activity
  • If the person is mistaken as to the nature of the activity.

An example of the last point – if a person is mistaken about the nature of the activity – may include circumstances where a person agrees to engage in sexual activity in the mistaken belief that the activity is necessary for the purpose of a medical diagnosis, for the purpose of hygiene or for some other treatment.

Indecent Assault

Under Section 56 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, a person who indecently assaults another person is guilty of indecent assault. If the victim of the indecent assault is under 14 years old, the offence becomes an aggravated offence.

For a basic offence, a person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 8 years.
For an aggravated offence, a person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Procuring Sexual Intercourse

Under Section 60 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, any person who procures another person to have sexual intercourse by threat, false pretences or any other fraudulent means is guilty of procuring sexual intercourse.

For a basic offence, a person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
For an aggravated offence, a person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Rape

Under Section 48 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, a person who engages in sexual intercourse with another person who does not consent, or continues to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who has withdrawn consent to the sexual intercourse is guilty of rape. This only applies if the offender knows, or is recklessly indifferent to the fact that the other person does not consent or has withdrawn consent.

A person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for LIFE.

If a person who engages in sexual intercourse or act, does not consent, or has withdrawn consent, and the offender knows or is recklessly indifferent to the fact that the person does not consent or has withdrawn consent, and the offender compels that person to either:

  • have sexual intercourse with another person (other than the offender)
  • perform an act of self-penetration; or
  • perform an act of bestiality

Then they are guilty of rape.
A person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for LIFE.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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