As the term clearly suggests, aggravated sexual assault is a sex crime in which aggravating factors have been added to the heinousness of the assault. Even though the exact criteria for aggravated sexual assault can vary, the crime is usually distinguished by the level of bodily harm which has been caused, the amount of assailants, and any use of a deadly weapon and/or the age of the victim.
- The term sexual assaultcan itself have different meanings in different countries, and in many places is referred to as a sexual crime in which the mouth, vagina, or the anus of the victim has been penetrated.
The Case for Aggravation
When an aggravated sexual assault is happening, the sexual violation is often combined with additional circumstances which make it a much more serious crime. For instance, should a victim be gravely beaten, impregnated, or threatened with a weapon, the case for sexual assault is then said to be aggravated, and the crime, along with its punishment, is treated much more seriously by the Australian justice system.
If, forexample, the victimhas been kidnapped or more than one assailant has violated the victim, the rape may also be viewed as aggravated, even when any weapon or serious physical violence have not been used against the victim.
A Specialist Field of Law
A number of sexual assault laws automatically consider any sexual activity, even if it is deemedto be consensual, as aggravated sexual assault. This includes sexual relations which involve a very young person or someone who is considered mentally unable to provide consent to any sexual activity.
In any type of case where any kind of consensual sexual activity occurred with an older teenager, but where the perpetrator is related to or in a certain position of power over the victim, as in being a teacher or a religious instructor, the law may still categorise any crime as an aggravated sexual assault.
- It can also happen, that the crime of marital rape will be prosecuted only if it meets the criteria ofan aggravated sexual assault.
Penalties Fitting for the Crime
All penalties which are granted inany case of what is considered aggravated sexual assault can be a lot more severe than any penalties given for other sex crimes, and will in a large number of cases include mandatory prison sentences. People who get convicted of multiple or severely violent offences can even end up finding themselves facing a lifetime in prison.
- In some parts of the world, aggravated sexual assault can result in any perpetrators being given the death penalty.
As the penalties for these types of criminal offences are so severe, anyone who has been accused of such a crime should seek the expert services of an assault lawyer with the full knowledge of such cases. Having a legal professional by your side if you have been accused of sexual criminal charges is a must.