Sexual Penetration of a Minor
5 charges of Committing an Indecent Act with a Minor. Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court.
It was alleged that around 15 years ago the client had performed a number of sexual acts with 2 sisters (not his sisters) who were aged 13 and 15 at the time. The client denied all allegations put to him at interview, and was prepared to fight the charges all the way. If found guilty, the client would be a registered sex offender for 15 years.
The matter was first listed for Case Conference. It then progressed to Contest Mention, then to Special Mention and was finally set to go to Hearing. Fortunately for the client, we sensed the prosecution were delaying in relation to providing our office with materials and were also reluctant to progress the matter to hearing.
Following lengthy discussions at the Special Mention, the prosecution withdrew the charges. This was on the basis that our client instruct us not to seek repayment of legal costs from the alleged victims. All charges were withdrawn.
This case highlights the benefits of engaging lawyers who are respected by the prosecutors and for whom thorough preparation is vital. The police knew that the case was not clear cut, and that if they proceeded to Court and lost they were looking at huge costs.
It is likely that these two factors contributed to the police withdrawing the charges.