Aggravated Sexual Assault
In Queensland, the offence of Aggravated Sexual Assault is more serious than Sexual Assault and carries a maximum penalty of between 14 years and life imprisonment.
The Offence of Sexual Assault
Sexual assaults are created by section 352 of the Criminal Code Act 1999 which reads:
- “(1) Any person who:
- (a) unlawfully and indecently assaults another person; or
- (b) procures another person, without the person’s consent;
- (i) to commit an act of gross indecency; or
- (ii) to witness an act of gross indecency by the person or any other person;
is guilty of a crime.”
The maximum penalty for this crime is 10 years imprisonment.
- (2) However, the offender is liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment for an offence defined in subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b)(i) if the indecent assault or act of gross indecency includes bringing into contact any part of the genitalia or the anus of a person with any part of the mouth of a person.
- (3) Further, the offender is liable to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if
- (a) immediately before, during, or immediately after, the offence, the offender is, or pretends to be, armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon, or is in company with any other person; or
- (b) for an offence defined in subsection (1)(a), the indecent assault includes the person who is assaulted penetrating the offender’s vagina, vulva or anus to any extent with a thing or a part of the person’s body that is not a penis; or
- (c) for an offence defined in subsection (1)(b)(i), the act of gross indecency includes the person who is procured by the offender penetrating the vagina, vulva or anus of the person who is procured or another person to any extent with a thing or a part of the body of the person who is procured that is not a penis.”
Sexual assaults can be categorised into two kinds – Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault.
Sexual Assault, also called sexual assault simpliciter, is the least serious form of sexual assault in Queensland and it carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
What Actions Might Constitute Aggravated Sexual Assault?
Forcing a person to perform oral sex against their will, or performing oral sex on a person without their consent would likely amount to Aggravated Sexual Assault (though the former circumstance can also constitute the offence of rape). Aggravated Sexual Assault of this kind is likely to carry a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Forcing a person to perform a penetrative sexual act on you, or another person, using an implement (anything that is not a penis) might well constitute an offence of Aggravated Sexual Assault punishable by life imprisonment.
Performing any offence of Sexual Assault (even an ostensibly non-aggravated form) while armed with a weapon or in the company of a co-offender will also likely constitute an Aggravated Sexual Assault and be punishable by life imprisonment.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict a person of sexual assault, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- they indecently assaulted another person; and
- they did so unlawfully; or
- they procured another person to commit, or witness, an act of gross indecency; and
- the person did not consent to the act.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Aggravated Sexual Assault is a serious crime which will be heard and determined in the District Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.