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Further reading and case studies

Sexually Inappropriate Behaviour


At 17, Anthony was charged with two counts of aggravated indecent assault. Anthony was alleged to have touched his younger sister on the breasts during a game. She was under 16 years of age.

Anthony had been diagnosed as having a mild intellectual disability and autism. He lived in a stable family home with both of his parents. The younger sister told her mother that her brother had touched her during the game. The mother contacted Community Services to seek help for both her children. The Joint Investigative Response Team came to the family home, arrested Anthony and he was refused bail for 15 days.

It was a condition of bail that Anthony not reside in the family home when he was released. After staying with his grandparents for three months, a placement in supported accommodation was found for him by his ADHC case manager.

Psychological assessments revealed that Anthony had received very little sex education. Anthony did not understand inappropriate touching. Anthony was, for the first time, linked with disability services, in particular services specifically aimed at educating persons with intellectual disability about sexuality.

An application was made under section 32 on behalf of Anthony. The matter was adjourned a number of times over a 12-month period to allow Anthony to undertake extensive training, counselling and education in relation to sexuality. Assessments were then provided to the Court that outlined that Anthony had progressed significantly in his understanding. The support plan included continuing intensive counseling. The application was successful.

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Multiple previous section32sCourt unfamiliar with developmental disability