Police charge NSW sex crimes detective with rape of 19yo woman

A NSW sex crimes detective has been charged with the rape of a 19-year-old woman whose case he was investigating.

The 55-year-old detective worked on the teenagers case when he allegedly sexually touched her, and raped her.

He has been suspended from the force pending the criminal charges and an internal investigation.

Police charge sex crimes detective with rape

The detective was arrested last Friday, and police charged him with:

  1. one count of sexual intercourse without consent;
  2. three counts of sexual touching; and
  3. one count of misconduct in public office.

NSW Police have stated that an internal investigation is now open.

“In May 2022, officers attached to the Professional Standards Command commenced an investigation into reports of an alleged sexual assault involving a 19-year-old woman,” police said in a statement.

“Following extensive inquiries, a 55-year-old detective senior constable — attached to a specialist command — was arrested and charged with sexual intercourse without consent, three counts of sexually touch another person without consent, and misconduct in public office.”

The senior constable has been suspended from duties, and his future in the police force is now under review.

He received conditional bail to appear at the Penrith Local Court on July 8.

Rape and sexual touching: sexual offences

The officer has been charged with two sexual offences, and an offence related to his duties.

Sexual intercourse without consent is an offence prescribed in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) under section 54.

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused:

  1. engaged in sexual intercourse with another person;
  2. the other person did not provide consent; and
  3. the person knew, or was reckless to the fact that the other person did not consent.

The detective has also been charged with three counts of sexual touching under section 61KC of the Act.

To be found guilty of this offence it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender, without the consent of the victim and knowing they did not consent,

  1. sexually touches the alleged victim,
  2. incites the alleged victim to sexually touch the alleged offender,
  3. incites a third person to sexually touch the alleged victim,
  4. or incites the alleged victim to sexually touch a third person.

Affirmative consent

From 1 June this year, those facing accusations of sex-related crimes will need to prove that the consent was affirmative.

The changes are a response to the NSW Law Reform Commission‘s review of consent in sexual offences. The NSW Parliament tabled this report in November 2020.

The new changes are being supported through a range of promotional educative material across social media, launching today.

Under the new model, an accused will have to show that they did or said something to find out if a person was consenting to sex. That is, if they want to rely on a mistaken but reasonable belief there was consent.

New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman stated that these new laws will override the assumption that silence equals consent.

“You just can’t assume through lack of resistance or lack of protest that consent has been given,” NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said.

The assumption of silence equating to consent falls on the NSW precedent that the accused must know that the complainant wasn’t consenting.

A shift in law and education

However, the direct impact on criminal trials is to be seen. In Victoria, Rachael Burgin, a executive director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy (RASARA), noted that her research of similar laws in Victoria was concerning.

“My research analysing rape trial transcripts from the County Court of Victoria shows that defence counsel continue to rely on narratives of victim resistance or “implied consent”, that construct women’s ordinary, everyday behaviour as indicating consent,” she said in her article in The Conversation.

While these new laws may not impact the criminal cases as much as expected, they are sure to change the attitudes towards sexual assault.

With the law outlining that affirmative consent is a requirement, this will show young men and women exactly what is expected of them in sexual encounters.

As Burgin stated, “This approach can set the framework for how we teach young people – or “re-teach” older generations – about consent, relationships and sexuality.”

“The ethos that a person who wants to have sex should make sure their potential partner also wants to should underpin both our responses to and prevention of sexual violence.”

Civil Solicitor | Website | + posts

Sarah is a civil solicitor who primarily practices in defamation, intentional torts against police, privacy and harassment.

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