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Sexual Assault by Penetration

Assault by Penetration, Sexual Assault by Penetration

Sexual assault by penetration is a serious criminal offence under English law. The offence is defined by section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

If you are accused of assault by penetration, the Prosecution must prove that:

  • You have intentionally penetrated the vagina or anus of another person, using either a part of your body or any other object,
  • That the penetration of the other person’s vagina or anus was sexual,
  • The other person did not consent to the penetration taking place, and
  • You did not have a reasonable belief that the other person consented to penetration taking place.

As well as the issues of consent, which are discussed on the page for the offence of rape, one of the key issues for an allegation of assault by penetration is whether the act was sexual or not. While there may be no dispute that penetration has occurred, or even that it was without consent, there have been cases where the defendant had no sexual motivation, and there was no sexual element to the incident. Situations like this, though rare, would be more appropriately dealt with as an assault allegation depending on whether injury was caused.

The offence of assault by penetration is an indictable only offence, meaning it can only be heard by the Crown Court. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment, and immediate custodial sentences are likely for anyone convicted of this offence.

As well as the immediate sentence, anyone convicted of assault by penetration would have to comply with the conditions of the Sex Offenders Register.

As allegations of assault by penetration are so serious, and even being accused of the offence can cause a suspect great anxiety, it is important that you are represented by an experienced specialist solicitor, who knows the best way to prepare your defence. If you need more information about rape allegations, contact us and we can try to recommend a specialist criminal defence lawyer who can help you.

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Every case is unique, and everybody’s circumstances are different. If you are dealing with any of the offences discussed on this site, and need independent advice or a second opinion, contact us to see if we can help.