Assault by penetration is a serious sexual offence which can result in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The offence, under section 2 of The Sexual Offences Act 2003, is charged when there is insufficient evidence to prove rape.

Because of their severity, cases can only be heard by the Crown Court and so it is very important to instruct expert legal representation as soon as you are able.

What Is Assault By Penetration?

The offence, also referred to as sexual assault by penetration, occurs when someone intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person without that individual's consent.

Penetration can occur by using a body part or an object. Either gender can commit the offence.

To successfully convict someone, the prosecution will need to prove that:

  • the penetration was sexual;
  • of the vagina or anus (not mouth) of the complainant;
  • with a part of the defendant’s body (not penis) or any object;
  • and that the complainant did not consent to the penetration;

The issue of consent is absolutley critical in these cases and will need to be considered in detail before you are advised on a plea.

As part of the defence you will need to consider the steps you had taken to judge consent; these steps will help determine how reasonable your belief of consent was.

Why Choose Monan Gozzett?

If you have been accused or arrested for sexual assault by penetration, it is vital to seek expert legal representation as soon as possible.

We understand that not all those accused of assault by penetration are guilty of the allegation; nevertheless, such allegations can ruin lives, families and careers.

There are several sexual offence defences that may be available for various accusations, including assault by penetration.

We can advise on the best course of action to take as soon as an allegation has been made and arrange for police station attendance and pre-charge representation.

We also vigorously defend clients at trial and advise them throughout the appeal process if they are already convicted at the time of our instruction. We appreciate the need to handle each case sensitively and with discretion, ensuring that you and your family are supported throughout each stage of the process.

Email info@mgsolicitors or call our team on 0207 936 6329 to see how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Assault By Penetration

What is the maximum sentence for assault by penetration?

Assault by penetration is prosecuted under the same sentencing guidelines as rape. This means that the maximum sentence for assault by penetration is life imprisonment.

Who can be prosecuted?

The difference between this offence and rape is that the penetration does not have to be with the penis. Therefore assault by penetration can be committed by both men and women.

How is the offence interpreted?

Sexual assault by penetration only only applies to the vagina or anus. It can be committed with a body part or an object.

As mentioned above, there is an added requirement for the penetration to be sexual. "Sexual" is defined in the The Sexual Offences Act 2003 as being established:
‘if a reasonable person would consider that –
(a) whatever its circumstances or any person’s purpose in relation to it, it is because of its nature sexual, or
(b) because of its nature it may be sexual and because of its circumstances or the purpose of any person in relation to it (or both) it is sexual.’


If you would like to speak to our expert legal team about this, or any related subject then please contact our team by phone on 0207 936 6329, Email or by completing our Quick Contact Form below.