This article provides an overview regarding how the offence of sexual assault by forced self-manipulation is committed, the circumstances of aggravation in committing the offence, the defence available to the accused, and the penalties that may be imposed upon the convicted offender.
The discussion under will also focus on the concept of self-manipulation as defined by the law, the two forms of committing the same, and the nature of the offence under the Crimes Act 1900.
There are two forms of committing the act of self-manipulation as a component of the offence of sexual assault by forced self-manipulation. First is the penetration of the vagina by an object manipulated by another. The second is the penetration of the anus of any person by an object manipulated by other person.
"Self-manipulation" means the penetration of the vagina (including a surgically constructed vagina) or anus of any person by an object manipulated by the person, except where the penetration is carried out for proper medical or other proper purposes. (Section 80A, Crimes Act 1900) Generally, the first act can be committed only against a female because it talks about vagina.
However, it is clear from the definition that this offence can be committed against both sexes. The second act may also be committed against a man. This is because a penetration in the anus of “any person” by an object manipulated by other person is also considered by law as self-manipulation. The law does not distinguish as to the sex of the victim in that particular act.
The applicable law in New South Wales that punishes the offence of sexual assault by forced manipulation is the Crimes Act 1900, particularly under Section 80A. It is considered as an offence against the persons. The law requires that the self-manipulation was by reason of the threat made by the offender. The threat could be by physical force or intimidatory conduct, or other threat which does not involve a threat of physical force.
The law itself provides a possible defence that may be available to the accused in the offence of sexual assault by forced manipulation. Thus, a person does not commit an offence of sexual assault by forced self-manipulation unless the person knows that the other person engages in the self-manipulation as a result of the threat. It is then important for the commission of this offence the knowledge of the offender that by reason of the threat, the other person was forced to engage in self-manipulation. The same is true that a defence is available if the penetration in self-manipulation was by a virtue of medical purpose or any other justifiable reason.
The penalty imposed by law upon the convicted person varies depending the presence or absence of any of circumstance of aggravation. If the offender compels the victim to engage in self-manipulation by means of a threat which the victim could not be expected to resist, they will be punished by imprisonment for fourteen years. On the other hand, if the offense is committed under aggravating circumstances, the penalty to be imposed by the court shall be 20 years of imprisonment.
Under Section 80A of Crimes Act 1900 "circumstances of aggravation" means circumstances in which:
(a) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or
(b) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument, or
(c) the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or
(d) the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years, or
(e) the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or
(f) the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or
(g) the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment.
The presence of any the circumstance of aggravation mentioned above will give the court the authority to impose a higher penalty.
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.