Sexual Touching



Division 10 of Part 3 of the Crimes Act 1900 has been re-structured by simplifying offences and updating terminology to transform the offence of ‘indecent assault’ into that of ‘Sexual Touching’ and the ‘act of indecency’ into ‘sexual act’.

This legislative reform was introduced by the NSW Government to strengthen child sexual abuse laws and was informed by the Royal Commission’s Criminal Justice Report.

A person can be charged with the offence of ‘Sexual Touching’ if without the consent of another person (the alleged victim) and with knowledge of that person’s lack of consent, the person intentionally:

– sexually touches the alleged victim, or
– incites the alleged victim to sexually touch the alleged offender, or
– incites a third person to sexually touch the alleged victim, or
– incites the alleged victim to sexually touch a third person

In June 2018 the Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Act 2018 was passed. Provisions of the Amendment Act to introduce new offences for failure to reduce or remove a risk of child abuse, and failure to report child abuse, as well as amendments to sentencing procedures for historical child sexual abuse, commenced on 31 August 2018.

A person can still be charged with Indecent Assault if the assault is alleged to have taken place prior to 1 December 2018.

William Vahl of North Shore Criminal Law is the only Accredited Criminal Law Specialist on Sydney’s North Shore. He has over 20 years experience defending people who have been charged with sexual offences.

Talk to us before you talk to the police. Call (02) 9955 2298 or 0400 4464 24 (24 hour emergency service).