Sexual Assault Charges Dandenong – Not Guilty Dandenong Magistrates Court
Sexual Assault Charges Dandenong:
- Section 40 Crimes Act 1958 – Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Charges Dandenong Facts:
Our client worked in the medical field. These allegations arose from a complaint from a patient who stated that our client had inappropriately touched their genitals where there was no need.
The complaint was first dealt with internally and was found to be unsubstantiated. However, the patient then made a complaint to police about our client.
Our client came to us before he was to be interviewed by police in relation to the matter. We held a long discussion with him and provided advice on how best to approach the interview. Whilst he was under no obligation to answer any questions, given that the matter was one that would ultimately go to contested hearing, there was no doubt that a good record of interview at the initial stage could go a long way in assisting the client’s case.
The client gave their version of events in the initial interview as advised, which was that he did not remember the particular patient, but what was alleged was part of their normal practice and procedure and required by their employer to be done.
It was not until six months later that our client was actually charged, and he returned to us to deal with the proceedings.
Sexual Assault Charges Dandenong Result:
The police had obtained an expert statement from a medical professional in a similar, but not the same, role as our client. The expert opined that what our client had done was improper and not normal procedure. This was the foundation of the prosecution’s case.
At the case conference stage, material regarding the initial complaint to the organisation and the internal investigation was sought. It would be critical to see if the complaints made to the organisation initially and to the police subsequently were consistent. Furthermore, it would also be critical to know why the complaint was found to be unsubstantiated at the internal investigation stage.
Despite some delay in getting this material, it did ultimately come and confirmed what our client was saying all along regarding the requirement to do this sort of procedure and that it was his normal practice.
Police still wanted to proceed with the matter despite this new information, and the matter was adjourned for hearing. In the interim period we asked that this new information be provided to their expert, so that they could consider it to see if it altered their opinion.
Unfortunately, police did not provide this information to the expert prior to the hearing. Instead they got a new expert, who had the same role as our client, but again only provided them with the bare minimum in material from which to form an opinion.
Thus, on the day of contest an application was made that the experts be allowed to sit in court and hear the evidence of the preceding witness so that they could hear all this new information. Police opposed this course of action, but ultimately the Magistrate agreed it was most appropriate in the circumstances.
The matter then proceeded as a hearing and witnesses were called. One expert did alter their opinion upon hearing the new information, though the other did not.
This was not a case about whether or not the proper procedures were followed to the letter. This was a case of whether or not our client intended to sexually assault the patient and whether they honestly believed that they needed to undertake this procedure as part of their duties.
The prosecution failed to pick up on this point and continued to focus on the fact that it was not proper procedure and far from best practice.
Ultimately, the Magistrate agreed with our argument about our client’s honest belief and subsequently the Magistrate returned a verdict of not guilty. Costs were ordered in favour of the client.
This was a hugely important case for our client as his whole livelihood rested upon the outcome. It was a great result born from extensive hard work from start to finish and it highlights the importance of obtaining specialised legal advice from the outset.
If you have been charged for a sex offence, seek expert legal defence. “Complex Matters Require Expert Defence” call our criminal defence lawyers 03 8644 7320