Last updated 29 August 2016

Section 352 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (Criminal Code) deals with sexual assault.

The offence of sexual assault occurs where a person:

  • unlawfully and indecently assaults another
  • procures another person without their consent to:
    • commit an act of gross indecency
    • witness an act of gross indecency.

The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, or 14 years if there is a circumstance of aggravation.

The offence of sexual assault can include conduct involving penetration, as well as other sexual touching or indecent conduct not involving penetration.

Indecent assault

‘Indecent’ is not specifically defined in the legislation. The case law indicates that what constitutes indecency is to be judged by prevailing community standards.

Gross indecency

The Criminal Code does not define the meaning of ‘gross’, but it has been held to have its ordinary dictionary meaning of plain, evident or obvious.

Assault with intent to commit rape

It is an offence to assault a person with intent to commit rape (s 351 Criminal Code). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment.

An assault is any touching without consent. The assault does not have to be of a sexual nature.