Sexual assault is a banner offence with the intention of covering all offences that are sexual in nature. This means that a sexual assault charge can be made regardless if there was simply touching involved, or if the act involved intercourse.
The prosecution has several things to prove. First, the Crown must prove that the alleged victim of sexual assault did not consent to the act. It is up to the Crown to establish beyond reasonable doubt that consent was not given, otherwise the accused must be acquitted. If it’s established that consent was not given, the prosecution still has to prove that the act was sexual in nature.
When deciding whether an act constitutes sexual assault, the courts may assess the parts of the body touched, the nature of the contact, the situation that the contact occurred in, whether there were words or gestures exchanged, in addition to other factors. In some cases, there may be a disagreement as to whether consent was given. The judge must then decide who to believe. Even if the judge does not believe the accused, the court must still be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual assault occurred.
There are few other offences that can be as damaging to a person’s reputation as a sex assault. Offences might be as insignificant as a brush in an elevator. That’s why if you are being investigated for sexual assault, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately. Call now.