Sexual Offences - Newcastle & Central Coast
We are a team of criminal lawyers who can assist you with matters related to sexual offences (sex crimes) and we've got the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
We've been defending the people of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter region since 1969 and have helped our clients achieve better outcomes in thousands of sexual offence matters.
We are used to dealing with the Police and know all the 'ins and outs' of the Courts and Justice system. Scroll down below for more information or give Matt Carney a call right now on 1800 994 279.
Sexual offence matters are extremely serious offences which carry significant penalties and also significant implications if a finding of guilt is made against a person. Some of the most common sexual offences include, but are not limited to:
Click the links above for more information about each sexual offence.
Why choose us?
How can we help you?
We can represent you when your sexual offence matter goes to Court. We'll explain everything in 'Plain English' so you can make informed decisions about how you'd like proceed. We'll keep you informed of your matter's progress, every step of the way. The costs associated with going to Court will depend on the individual circumstances of your matter. Call our Criminal Team to discuss these in more detail: 1800 994 279
Alternatively, if you would prefer to represent yourself in Court and would like some advice on the most effective way to do this, given your individual circumstances, we will arrange a 30 minute scheduled consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Lawyers to discuss the best strategy for you to adopt once the matter goes to Court.
The offence of sexual assault is an offence under the Crimes Act. The matter is a strictly indictable offence which means that it will not be presided upon by the Local Court and must be finalised in the District/Supreme Court. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.
To be found guilty of the offence, the prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the person had sexual intercourse with another without that persons consent. The Crown must prove the complainant did not consent to the physical act.
If such assault takes place in a situation of aggravation, the matter will be dealt with pursuant to Section 61J of the Crimes Act. If the matter occurs in a situation of aggravation, the maximum period of imprisonment is 20 years. Circumstances of aggravation are circumstances where:
If the offence occurs in company with aggravating circumstances, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for life with a standard non-parole period of 15 years.
An act of indecency is an act which a right minded person would consider to be contrary to community standards of decency.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence for an act of indecency to occur. An act of indecency occurs where any person commits an act towards another person under the age of 16 years. The offence is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made. The maximum penalty which can be imposed is 12 months of imprisonment or a fine of $2,200. If an election is made, the maximum penalty which may be imposed is imprisonment for 2 years.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence for a person to assault another person and, at the time of the assault, or immediately before or after, commits an act of indecency in the presence of another person.
Indecent assault is an assault which will be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made for the matter to be tried before the District/Supreme Court. The maximum penalty which can be imposed in the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment or a fine of $5,500, or both. If the matter is listed to be heard in the District/Supreme Court, the maximum period of imprisonment is 5 years.
An indecent assault can be aggravated by a number of matters, such as where the alleged offender is in the company of other persons, if the alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender, where the alleged victim has serious disability or cognitive impairment.
An aggravated indecent assault will be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made for trial in the District Court. The maximum penalty which can be imposed in the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment, however if an election is made, the maximum period of imprisonment is 7 years or, whereby the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, the maximum period of imprisonment is 10 years.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence for a person to force or threaten another person (victim) to provide sexual services. This includes directly causing a victim to enter or remain in sexual servitude and/or conducting a business that involves the sexual servitude of victims (which includes playing a role in the management of such a business and/or providing financing for such a business). The victim being forced or threatened is either not free to cease providing sexual services or not free to leave the area in which those services take place.
"Sexual Services" implies the commercial use or display of the body to provide sexual gratification or sexual arousal to others. Common threats include force, deportation, harm to loved ones and any other detrimental action. An aggravated sexual servitude offence occurs when the victim is either under the age of 18 years or has a cognitive impairment.
The maximum penalty which can be imposed is imprisonment for 15 years. This can be extended to 20 years if there are aggravated circumstances.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to promote, engage in or obtain benefit from child prostitution. The maximum penalty for these offences is imprisonment for 10 years. This can be extended to 14 years if the child is under the age of 14 years. The child's consent is not a defence if charged with any of these offences. In addition, it is also an offence to procure children to be used for child prostitution.
Under the Crimes Act, it is also an offence to allow premises to be used for child prostitution. This includes anyone who is an owner, lessee, licensee or occupier of such premises, as well as anyone who manages the premises and/or controls the entry to and movement within the premises. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 7 years. A person can be found not guilty of this offence if they can satisfy the Court that they legitimately did not know about the child prostitution taking place, did not know the act constituted child prostitution or they exercised due diligence to prevent child prostitution from taking place.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to produce, possess or disseminate child abuse material. Child abuse material relates to information (in any form: film, print or digital), or any program, about a child under the age of 16 years. To find out what constitutes child abuse material, read Section 91FB of the Crimes Act. The offence related to producing child abuse material includes altering or manipulating existing material and entering into an agreement or arrangement to produce material (even if material wasn't produced). The offence related to disseminating child abuse material includes the sending, supplying, exhibiting, transmitting and communicating of material to another person. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to use a child for the production of child abuse material. This includes causing, allowing or procuring a child to be used. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 14 years.
Defences for child abuse material charges include satisfying the Court that the material was of public benefit, used or produced by law enforcement officers doing their duty or produced for approved (by Attorney General) research purposes.
Under Section 5 of the Summary Offences Act, it is an offence to wilfully expose yourself inside or near a public place (like a school). Exposing yourself relates to removing clothing to the point of indecency inside or within view of a public place. The maximum penalty for this offence is 6 months imprisonment, although the likely outcome is almost always a fine, especially for first time offenders.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to observe a person (victim), for the purpose of obtaining some kind of sexual gratification or arousal, who is engaged in a private act without that person's expressed consent and knowing that the person being observed would not consent to it. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment. This can be extended to 5 years if there are aggravated circumstances, whereby the victim is under the age of 16 years or the offender constructed or adapted a building in order to observe the victim.
Under the Crimes Act, it is also an offence to film a person (victim) engaged in a private act for the purposes described above. The same penalties as the previous offence apply.
Under the Crimes Act, it is also an offence to install, construct or adapt a device on a building that could be used to facilitate voyeurism, even if no observation actually took place. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to have (or attempt to have) sexual intercourse with a child.
Under the Crimes Act, it is also an offence to commit persistent sexual abuse of a child. "Persistent" implies that the offender has engaged in conduct in relation to a particular child, that constitutes a sexual offence, on 3 or more separate occasions (on separate days) during the victim's childhood. The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is also an offence to procure or groom a child for the purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual activity with that child, even if the unlawful act never took place. The offender can still be charged with this offence even if the child in question is fictitious (not real), for example, if an undercover police officer poses as a child online. "Grooming" implies engaging in any type of conduct that exposes the child to indecent material. If the child is under the age of 14 years, the maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment. For all other cases, the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to engage in sexual intercourse with a close family member; this is known as incest. A close family member is defined as being a parent, daughter, son, sibling, grandparent or grandchild. The maximum penalty for this offence is 8 years imprisonment. It is also an offence to attempt to engage in such an act, even if the actual act was never performed. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to be married to two or more people at the same time; this is known as bigamy. To be guilty of this offence the offender, being already married, marries another person during the life of their former partner. There are exceptions to this offence, for example, if the alleged offender legitimately believed their former partner to be deceased or if the former partner had been absent from the marriage for seven or more years. The maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years imprisonment. The new partner is also liable to be charged with participating in bigamy. The maximum penalty for this offence is 5 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to engage in sexual intercourse with an animal; this is known as bestiality. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment. It is also an offence to attempt to engage in such an act, even if the actual act was never performed. The maximum penalty for this offence is 5 years imprisonment.
Under the Crimes Act, it is an offence to indecently interfere with a dead human body. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation