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A 27-year-old Lakemba man will face court after being charged over the alleged aggravated sexual assault of a woman while she was unconscious during an epileptic seizure.

The incident allegedly occurred in an Ultimo apartment earlier this year.

Detectives from the Sydney City Police Area Command begun investigating the incident in March, after the woman reported she had been sexually assaulted in February.

Subsequently, the 27-year-old man has now been arrested.

He was taken to Campsie Police Station, where he was charged with aggravated sexual assault – victim with cognitive impairment.

Police will allege that the 27-year-old man sexually assaulted the 40-year-old woman, who was known to him, while she was unconscious during the medical episode.

The woman has a medical condition which requires ongoing medical treatment.

The man was refused bail by police to appear before Bankstown Local Court.

He will remain behind bars until his next appearance at the Downing Centre Local Court on June 16 2021.

In conversation with Ben Fordham, on radio show 2GB, NSW Police Detective David El-Badawi stated that officers were “in shock”.

“To attack someone in this manner, in their moment of need, when they should be calling for medical assistance – it’s horrific.” he commented.

He explained how the woman suffers from a condition where she “blacks out for a number of minutes” and that they will “allege this man took advantage of her and attacked her.”

In NSW, the rate of adult victims of sexual assault has been uncovered as 26.7 per 100,000 in the population.

Furthermore, rates of offending have risen 10.1% in the last 24 months.

Sexual assault is an offence criminalised under section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that:

  • An accused person had sexual intercourse with the victim,
  • The victim did not consent,
  • The accused person knew the victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse.

A maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment is applicable.

Consent has been held to involve a conscious and voluntary agreement on the part of the complainant to engage in sexual intercourse with the relevant person.

This can be given verbally or expressed by actions.

Sexual intercourse includes sexual connection occasioned by the penetration to any extent of the genitalia (including a surgically constructed vagina) of a female person or the anus of any person:

  • by any part of the body of another person,
  • any object manipulated by another person, (except where the penetration is carried out for proper medical purposes), or
  • sexual connection occasioned by the introduction of any part of the penis of a person into the mouth of another person, or cunnilingus (orally stimulating a victim’s genitals).

If this is done in circumstances of aggravation, a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail is applicable, pursuant to section 61J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

Circumstances of aggravation include, where the accused, at the time of, or before or after, the commission of the offence:

  • intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or threatens to do so with a weapon, or
  • threatens to inflict grievous bodily harm or wounding on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby.

Actual bodily harm entails an injury that need not be permanent, but more than merely transient or trifling (R v Donovan [1934] 2 KB 498).

Comparatively, grievous bodily harm is any ‘really serious injury’ and includes any permanent or serious disfiguring of the person, unlawful destruction of the foetus of a pregnant woman, and any serious disease, pursuant to section 4(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

Other aggravating circumstances include situations in which:

  • the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons,
  • the alleged victim is under the age of 16 years,
  • the alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender,
  • the alleged victim has a serious physical disability or cognitive impairment,
  • the alleged offender breaks and enters into a building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence, or
  • the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of their liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence.
Published on 17/06/2022

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AUTHOR Poppy Morandin

Poppy Morandin is the managing law clerk and an integral part of the team of criminal lawyers at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia . She's also a part of CDLA's content article production team. Poppy is passionate about law reform and criminal justice.

View all posts by Poppy Morandin