Indecent Assault

In Victoria, the maximum penalty for indecent assault is 10 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 1,200 penalty units. The offence of indecent assault is contained in section 39 of the Crimes Act.

What the Police Must Prove

To find a person guilty of indecent assault, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they:

  1. Intentionally touched the victim;
  2. That they either:
    1. Were aware that the victim was not consenting or might not be consenting; OR
    2. Did not give any thought to whether the victim was not consenting or might not be consenting.
  3. The assault took place in “indecent circumstances”

The Crimes Act 1958 does not define what constitutes indecent circumstances. It is for a jury to decide what is indecent according to current community standards. Courts in Victoria have said that for an assault to be considered indecent, there must be some sexual connotation.

Possible Defences for Indecent Assault

A person charged with indecent assault may argue in their defence:that the victim consented.

What Court will Hear this Matter?

The matter is an indictable offence, meaning it is usually heard in the County Court. In some circumstances it can be dealt with in Magistrates’ Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
Based on 274 reviews
Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223