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Indecent assault

Indecent assault is an offence under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

Maximum penalty:

Basic offence: 8 years imprisonment

Aggravated offence: 10 years imprisonment

(Aggravated offence includes where the victim is under 14 years old)

An assault is any kind of touching (or threat of touching) without a person's genuine consent. What is and what is not indecent is a matter of fact for the jury. It is a complex legal question as to whether an assault becomes indecent where the victim is unaware of the indecent aspects or motive of the assault, for example, when the victim believes that the assault is a legitimate medical procedure.

Consent can not be given by any person under 17 years old unless, when the victim is between 16 and 17 years, consent can be a defence for an accused who was under the age of 17 years. Consent can also be a defence if the accused can prove, on the balance of probability, that he or she believed on reasonable grounds that the victim was 17 years of age or over [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 57(2)-(3)].

Consent cannot be given by a person under the age of 18 years in a case where the accused is the guardian, teacher, religious leader, or in certain other positions of authority over the alleged victim [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) ss 57(1), 57(4)].

Indecent assault  :  Last Revised: Fri Aug 29th 2014
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