Sexual Offences

Author: Katrib Law |


Sexual offences encompass a wide variety of actions and includes sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, and child pornography.

A sexual assault is committed when a person has touched another person in a way that is “sexual in nature” without that person’s consent. The type of conduct which is considered “sexual in nature” has been given a broad interpretation and includes anything from placing a hand on someone’s bum to having penetrative sexual intercourse. Often the central and most contentious issue is whether or not there was consent. The law offers a possible defence called “honest but mistaken belief in consent”.

Honest but mistaken belief in consent affords a defence to individuals who have taken reasonable steps to ascertain consent. The law in this area is not as straight forward as it sounds and it is important that you have a lawyer in order to assist you.

The law defines the age of consent as 16-year-old. Therefore, if the person making the allegations is under 16, consent is automatically considered to be absent. In this context law offers a possible defence called “mistaken belief in age”. Again, this area of law is complex, and it is important you have a lawyer who understands the nuances of the defence.