A charge of sexual touching a young person in special care relates to the complainant being in a vulnerable position. For example, because the accused is their teacher, parent or medical practitioner.
What is Sexual Touching in Special Care?
The touching must be sexual and it must occur while the victim is under the special care of the accused. Read our article for more information on what ‘sexual touching‘ means.
In addition, special care is when the offender is:
- A parent, grandparent, step-parent, guardian or authorised carer of the victim
- A teacher at the school where the victim attends
- A custody officer and the victim is an inmate
- A health professional and the victim is their patient
- There is an established personal relationship with the victim through a religious, sporting or musical group
We’re here to help
Can I avoid a criminal record for sexual touching under special care?
A court will likely convict you. However, it’s possible to avoid a conviction for less serious offences.
Will I go to jail?
The maximum penalty depends on the age of the alleged victim at the time of the offence:
- If the alleged victim was aged 16, the maximum penalty is 4 years imprisonment.
- If the alleged victim was aged 17, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
Therefore, it is possible to go to jail. This includes first time offenders.
If I defend the charge, what must be proved?
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:
- Touched another person, and
- The touching is sexual in nature, and
- The touching occurred in circumstances where the victim was under your special care
Whether or not the victim consented to the sexual touching is not a relevant consideration. As a result, the victim is considered to be unable to consent to sexual act because they are in special care.
You will be found not guilty if the prosecution is unable to prove these elements.
We can help
Our experienced lawyers appear in Local and District Courts in Newcastle, Sydney and throughout NSW. We specialise in criminal law. As a result, we know the law, we know the magistrates and judges, and we know how to help you get the best possible outcome.
Contact us today on 0421 700 497 for a free initial consultation.