Sexual Touching (a.k.a. Indecent Assault)

Sexual Touching (once known as indecent assault) includes a wide range of sexual offences not involving penetrative sex.    Our criminal lawyers are the best defence against sexual touching charges.  Get in contact if you have been charged with this offence.

Sexual Touching (previously Indecent Assault)  

Sexual Touching is the offence previously known as Indecent Assault.   Our criminal lawyers often represent clients charged with sexual touching, successfully beating the charge or, where the guilty plea is made, having no convictions being recorded.  This means no criminal record. 

If you have been charged with Sexual Touching or Indecent Assault (where charges are from prior to 2018 activity), then get in touch with Australian Criminal Law Group. Call us on (02) 8815 8167 or email us at  We can help you beat the charge and/or avoid a criminal record.   

Or you can read on for more information about Sexual Touching and Indecent Assault charges.  

Beating the Charge of Sexual Touching (previously indecent assault)  

Sexual Touching (previously known as Indecent Assault) is an offence that the police often charge with other more serious sex offences.  

Sexual Touching is also sometimes charged on its own based on a single spurious allegation. Our criminal lawyers are frequently seeing accusations being made vindictively because of hurt pride, an excuse for adultery, due to accidental contact and most commonly following an alcohol felled incident. 

Our criminal lawyers beat Indecent assault charges by attacking the evidence of your accuser and other police witnesses. We call witnesses to talk about your good character, and pick apart medical or DNA evidence pointing to its absence. 

If you intend to plead guilty, we often have Sexual Touching / Indecent assault charges dismissed without convictions being recorded. 

Not Guilty Pleas for Sexual Touching Charges 

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Indecent assault if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt: 

  1. You assaulted the victim (an assault is the intentional or reckless application of force to the person of another or an act designed to cause fear of unlawful violence). 
  1. The assault was accompanied by an act of indecency on or in the presence of the victim which occurred before, after or at the time of the assault. 

An indecent act is one which right-minded persons would consider to be contrary to community standards of decency. Where the act has unequivocal sexual connotations, it is unnecessary for the prosecution to prove the purpose of the act was the provision of sexual gratification. 

Pleading guilty to Sexual Touching  

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on your sentence, and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge. 

The offence of Sexual Touching carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment in the Local Court and five years’ imprisonment in the District Court. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Sexual Assault is a serious offence but also one that is often dealt with by a sentence other than gaol. Read more about all the sentencing options that a court has, including about not having a conviction recorded. 

If you are charged with Sexual Touching you should contact our office immediately on (02) 8815 8167 or at 

Indecent Assault Offences now “Sexual Touching” Definitions 

Indecent assault was replaced with “Sexual Touching” as an offence in the Crimes Act 1900 No 40 late 2018 as part of major reforms to Sexual Offences as part of NSW legislation.  modernise and bring greater coherency to sexual offences, particularly those committed against children and persons in a special care relationship.

Sexual Touching, like Indecent Assault includes a wide range of non-penetrative sexual acts. 

Sexual Touching  

“Sexual Touching is described in the Crimes Act 1990 (NSW) section 61K as; 

61KC   Sexual touching 

Any person (the alleged offender) who without the consent of another person (the alleged victim) and knowing that the alleged victim does not consent intentionally— 

(a)  sexually touches the alleged victim, or 

(b)  incites the alleged victim to sexually touch the alleged offender, or 

(c)  incites a third person to sexually touch the alleged victim, or 

(d)  incites the alleged victim to sexually touch a third person, 

is guilty of an offence. 

Crimes Act 1900 No 40, Part 3, Division 10,  Current version for 27 March 2021 to date (accessed 18 May 2021 at 15:53) 

Aggravated Sexual Touching  

Aggravated Sexual Touching is defined in the Crimes Act as above but is when the sexual touching happens in “circumstances of aggravation” .    

The Crimes Act 61KD Aggravated sexual touching defines circumstances of aggravation as; 

“Circumstances in which— 

(a)  the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or 

(b)  the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or 

(c)  the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or 

(d)  the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment.” 

Sexual Touches 

Sexual Touches is described under in the Crimes Act 1990 (NSW) as; 

sexual touches means a person touching another person— 

(a)  with any part of the body or with anything else, or 

(b)  through anything, including anything worn by the person doing the touching or by the person being touched, 

in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual. 

(2)  The matters to be taken into account in deciding whether a reasonable person would consider touching to be sexual include— 

(a)  whether the area of the body touched or doing the touching is the person’s genital area or anal area or (in the case of a female person, or transgender or intersex person identifying as female) the person’s breasts, whether or not the breasts are sexually developed, or 

(b)  whether the person doing the touching does so for the purpose of obtaining sexual arousal or sexual gratification, or 

(c)  whether any other aspect of the touching (including the circumstances in which it is done) makes it sexual. 

(3)  Touching done for genuine medical or hygienic purposes is not sexual touching.” 

Crimes Act 1900 No 40, Part 3, Division 10,  Current version for 27 March 2021 to date (accessed 18 May 2021 at 15:53) 

Children and Sexual Touching  

There are special offences included in the Crimes Act for when sexual touching occurs and the victim is a child under 10, between 14 and 16 or where the victim is over 16 but is under the special care of the defendant.   

For these offences, whether the alleged victim consented or the alleged offender knew whether they consented or not is irrelevant. 

What is the punishment for Sexual Touching?   

Sexual Touching is a serious offence.  If you are found guilty of the offence of sexual touching, you could be imprisoned.   The penalties for this offence include; 

Sexual touching – If heard in District Court* 

5 years 

Aggravated sexual touching 

7 years 

Sexual touching – child under 10 years old 

16 years 

Sexual touching – child between 10 and 16 years old 

10 years 

 *Given the type of offence, the DPP can elect to have the matter heard in a District Court.  If they do not elect for it to be heard in the District Court however, it will remain in the Local Court.  If this is the case, the Maximum penalty of imprisonment is 2 years. 

While Sexual Touching is a serious offence and offenders do frequently receive prison sentences, there are alternative punishments available to the court for this type of offence.  These include Conditional Release Orders, Community Correction Orders, and Intensive Correction Orders.  

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group to represent your Sexual Touching case? 

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for sex offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail. 

To discuss your charge of Indecent assault, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, and Blacktown offices or make a website inquiry today. 

Case Study 

AC Law Group represented a cab driver charged with indecent assault. It being alleged he groped a drunken passenger. The Magistrate accepted that given the degree of intoxication of the complainant and that at the time of the touch, the driver was conceded to have been saying words to the effect of “wake up”, that the complaint could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt because the contact with her leg may have been innocent. Accordingly, our client was found not guilty. 

Case Study 

AC Law Group represented a client charged with Sexual Assault and Indecent Assault against his wife on a number of occasions. The allegation was that our client had, amongst other things, sodomized her with his penis and hands on a number of occasions. Our solicitor took a statement from the wife where she said that the police had misunderstood her on account of her poor English and that whilst she said no at one stage, she ultimately consented. She said the matter was only reported to police out of concern for her husband’s mental health. Ultimately, on representations from our lawyer, the DPP withdrew the charges. 

Case Study 

Mr Adut represented a person charged with a number of counts of indecent assault. The Accused was a person of prior good character. Videos were obtained showing Accused and complainant kissing. The complainant and her friends were cross-examined with substantial damage being done to the prosecution case. The jury came back with a verdict of not guilty. 

Case Study 

Australian Criminal Law Group represented an 18-year-old man charged with the Aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old and a number of indecent assaults. The allegation was that she had been raped when the Accused and his friends stole her mobile phone and coerced her into sexual intercourse. The complainant was cross-examined about her conduct following the alleged rape in which she continued her relationship with the Accused as well as inconsistent statements to police and friends. The jury deliberated for no more than 30 minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict. 

Case Study 

Mr Harb represented a man charged with three counts of sexual assault. Negotiations ensued and soon after the charges were dropped to indecent assault. At sentence the magistrate found the facts to be on the lower end of seriousness due to negotiations done by Mr Harb. He received a suspended sentence and avoided prison. 


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