Aggravated sexual assault in the company of others stands as the most severe classification of sexual assault. This offence occurs when a sexual assault is perpetrated by an individual in the presence of one or more person, and happens under aggravating circumstances. Frequently, incidents such as gang rapes entails aggravated sexual assault in company encompasses grave sexual offences.
To establish the offence of aggravated sexual assault, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following three elements:
1. That you engaged in sexual intercourse with another person.
2. That this sexual activity occurred without their consent.
3. That you were aware of their lack of consent.
Furthermore, the prosecution must demonstrate that the sexual assault was committed ‘in company.’
Lastly, the prosecution is tasked with proving the existence of at least one ‘aggravating circumstance,’ the additional factor that amplifies the severity of the offence.
If your case proceeds to court you could be dismissed of charges when defences are properly raised successfully. The available defences are:
1. Consent – Note: This defence is not available if the victim was under 16 or intellectually disabled.
2. Proper medical purpose.
Should you choose to plead ‘guilty,’ your case will be adjudicated in a higher court, such as the District or the Supreme Court.
The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is life imprisonment. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this represents the highest possible penalty and is reserved for the most severe offences. In reality, many individuals receive lesser penalties, as the judge considers all the facts and circumstances of the case when determining the sentence.
Life imprisonment is the maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault. However, it is imperative to bear in mind that this penalty represents the most severe consequence and is typically reserved for the most egregious offences. In practice, as the judge diligently considers all the facts and circumstances, many individuals receive lesser penalties when determining the appropriate sentence.
It is crucial to recognise that seeking guidance from a specialised assault lawyer provides the best chance of securing a favourable sentence. These lawyers possess the expertise and experience necessary to offer the most effective assistance.
At KPT Defence Lawyers, we constitute a team of specialised defence lawyers with a wealth of experience in handling aggravated sexual assault cases.
Understanding the intricacies of the law can be challenging, which is why we have provided additional information below to help you grasp the elements the prosecution needs to prove and the potential penalties you may face if you decide to plead guilty.
What does the prosecution need to prove?
he prosecution bears the burden of proving three critical elements of ‘sexual assault’:
1. Engagement in sexual intercourse with another person.
2. Commission of the sexual activity without the other person’s consent.
3. Knowledge of the lack of consent at the time of the sexual act.
Additionally, the prosecution must demonstrate that the sexual assault occurred ‘in company.’ This necessitates proving that at least one other person was physically present during the offence and shared a common purpose with the accused. The collective impact of the group in committing the act or intimidating the victim is evaluated by the court. It is insufficient to show that the other person merely played a role in the offence without being physically present, such as acting as a lookout or assisting in planning the offence.
Moreover, the prosecution must establish the presence of at least one ‘aggravating circumstance,’ an additional factor that exacerbates the seriousness of the offence.
The law enumerates three potential ‘aggravating circumstances’:
1. Intentionally or recklessly causing actual bodily harm to the other person or an individual nearby:
Actual bodily harm refers to harm that has a discernible and lasting impact, although it does not necessarily have to be permanent. Examples of actual bodily harm include visible injuries such as bruises or scratches, and it also encompasses emotional harm when there is credible evidence of serious and enduring psychiatric consequences.
2. Creating threats to employ a weapon or instrument to cause actual bodily harm to the other person or someone in close proximity:
Threats to utilise a weapon can manifest in various forms, including verbal threats or ‘physical’ threats, such as brandishing a knife or pointing a gun at the alleged victim. The term ‘weapons’ or ‘instruments’ encompasses a broad spectrum of objects, ranging from loaded or unloaded firearms and knives to syringes and baseball bats. The court assesses the threat from the perspective of the other person, allowing the establishment of a ‘threat’ even if the weapon itself may not be capable of causing harm—for instance, an unloaded gun.
3. The complainant experienced ‘deprivation of their liberty’ either before or after the offence, which entails the act of confining or detaining someone against their will.
The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is life imprisonment. However, it is essential to bear in mind that this constitutes the uppermost limit of punishment and is exclusively reserved for the gravest and most severe offences.
Statistics reveal that average sentences are often significantly lower than the maximum, contingent upon the specific ‘circumstances of aggravation’:
For aggravated sexual assault in company where threats of actual bodily harm were made using a weapon or instrument, the average sentence amounted to 12 years of imprisonment (with the offender in this case being under 18).
For aggravated sexual assault in company where the victim’s liberty was deprived, the average sentence reached 15 years of imprisonment (including an offender under the age of 18).
Although these penalties may appear severe, it is crucial to remember that your most favorable prospect of receiving an optimal sentence lies in consulting with a specialised sexual assault lawyer. Such experts possess the requisite knowledge and experience to provide the best possible assistance and representation.
KPT Defence Lawyers comprises a team of specialised criminal defence lawyers well-versed in handling aggravated sexual assault cases. Throughout numerous instances, we have achieved successful outcomes by identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, leading to charges being dropped before reaching the court.
In numerous cases, we have successfully had charges dropped before reaching court by identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Protecting your freedom is of utmost importance, so get the experts on your side now – call us on (02) 9267 5555 and arrange your first free appointment to discuss your case.
Earlier this month, our criminal defence lawyer, Ellyse Kwan, represented a client in court facing charges of assault
Recently, our Partner and Accredited Specialist, Paul Blake, appeared at Burwood Local Court for a bail application for
The advancement and sophistication of technology has generated contentious debate about whether robots can displace the jobs of
In 2020 alone, more than 200 Australian’s have collectively paid more than $1.3 million to watch live videos
Buried in the Commonwealth Criminal Code is the lesser-known offence of “Dishonestly cause a risk of loss to
The law in Australia, as in other common law countries, comes from two sources: legislation enacted by parliament
In Queensland, the sex work industry is pointed on the edge of a ground-breaking transformation as the government
The famous slap by Will Smith has been a hot topic of discussion, which exploded over social media