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A person who with intent to have sexual intercourse is guilty of an offence

This article aims to provide an overview on how the crime of assault with Intent to have sexual Intercourse is committed in two ways and its corresponding penalty as provided under Crimes Act 1900.

The offence sexual assault with Intent to have sexual intercourse is one of the crimes against the person. It is a crime committed by not only inflicting bodily harm upon the person of the victim but also attempting to have sexual intercourse with the victim.

It is necessary for better understanding of the offence to know what assault is because that is an essential element of the offence. An assault is an act by which a person intentionally or perhaps recklessly causes another person to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force upon him. (Darby v DPP (2004))

An actual bodily harm is not necessary for an offence of assault to be committed. A threat of an immediate character to inflict physical harm upon the victim is sufficient to constitute an offence of assault.

The offence of assault with intent to have sexual intercourse is committed if a person who has the intention to have sex with another person intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the other person,  or a third person who is present or nearby, or threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the other person or a third person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument. (Section 61K Crimes Act 1900)

It is clear from the definition of the law that there must be intent to have sexual intercourse. However, there should be no actual sexual intercourse. If there was sexual intercourse between the offender and the victim without the latter’s consent and before or during or immediately after the sexual intercourse, the former intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, an offence of aggravated sexual assault is committed. Thus, a mere attempt to have sexual intercourse coupled with inflicting bodily harm or threatening to inflict the same already constitutes the offence of assault with the intent to have sexual intercourse.

This is because, under Section 61P of the law, it provides that any person who attempts to commit an offence of, among others, assault with intent to have sexual intercourse is liable to the penalty provided for the commission of the offence. The time of the infliction of physical harm or threatening to inflict the same does not matter because the law does not qualify when the offender should commit it.

Infliction of actual bodily with intent to have sexual intercourse is not the only way the offence of assault with intent to commit to having sexual intercourse is committed. The offence is also committed if the offender threatens the victim or a third person to inflict actual bodily harm who is near or nearby using an offensive weapon or instrument.

The law

The Crimes Act 1900 categorizes the offence of assault with intent to have sexual intercourse as a crime against the persons. The law punishes not only act of intentionally inflicting an actual physical harm upon the person of the victim but also recklessly inflicting the same. Threatening to inflict actual bodily harm with the use of a weapon while the offender intended to have sexual intercourse also constitutes the offence

The Defence

A person who has been charged with an offence of assault with the intent to have sexual intercourse can always allege in his defence that he did not have the intention to have sexual intercourse.

A defence that the prosecution did not prove his guilt beyond reasonable is also available to the accused because that is the standard of proof required in proving a criminal case.

The Penalty

The penalty imposed upon a convicted person for the offence of assault with intent to have sexual intercourse is 20 years of imprisonment.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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