A model in megastar Katy Perry's 2010 hit music video, Teenage Dream, has accused the singer of exposing his penis to a group of people.
34-year old Josh Kloss took to Instagram on Monday alleging that he and Ms Perry met several times after the singer divorced from actor Russell Brand and that, during one encounter, Perry committed the act which, he says, left him "embarrassed" and made him feel "pathetic".
"This one time I brought a friend who was dying to meet her," Mr Kloss wrote. "It was Johny Wujek's birthday party at Moonlight Rollerway. And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush. But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us my penis."
"Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt? I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting".
The post was met with scepticism by some, who questioned why Mr Kloss took 9 years to make the claim and accused him of "gold dig[ging]. However, others accepted his claims, pointing to the fact that many victims of sexual misconduct take years to speak out.
"The comments are disgusting. "you need money.. why wait 9 years" All of those comments are absolutely ridiculous and are what we call victim blaming", one person posted. "We already know it can take years for people to feel safe enough to speak their truth and to come to terms with events that happened. I bet the same people commenting that are the same people who would never say that if it were the other way around. We should always believe victims. There's no reason for him to lie. And I completely agree with those who've stated that it's believable that Katy Perry would do something like this. So good him for speaking up. I believe him."
For his part, Mr Kloss responded "I have not lied or exaggerated whatsoever. You people who are bullying, please think twice about how stupid and dangerous your comments truly are."
It has been reported that since Mr Kloss' post, Russian television presenter Tina Kandelaki has alleged that she was also preyed upon by Ms Perry.
Ms Kandelaki told a Russian media outlet that Ms Perry approached her at an event and attempted to kiss her. She claims that after rejecting Ms Perry's advances, the singer sought a "new victim".
"Once I was invited to a private party with Katy Perry, where she, being pretty tipsy, chose me as an object for the manifestation of her passion," Kandelaki stated. "I managed to fight back, strength training was not in vain, and Katy instantly found a new victim for kisses, hugs and dirty dances."
The offences of sexual touching and sexual act in New South Wales
The offences of indecent assault and act of indecency were repealed in December 2018 and replaced respectively with 'sexual touching' and 'sexual act'.
The offence of sexual touching
Sexual touching is an offence under section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)('the Act') which attracts a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
The section states that a person is guilty of sexual touching if he or she, without the consent of the alleged victim and knowing there is no consent, intentionally:
- sexually touches the alleged victim, or
- incites the alleged victim to sexually touch the alleged offender, or
- incites a third person to sexually touch the alleged victim, or
- incites the alleged victim to sexually touch a third person.
Section 61HB of the Act defines 'sexual touching' touching another person with any part of the body or with anything else, or through anything, including anything worn by either person, in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual.
The section provides that the matters to be taken into account when deciding if an act is sexual include whether:
- the area of the body touched or doing the touching is the person's genital area, anal area or – in the case of a female person, or a transgender or intersex person identifying as female – the person's breasts, or
- the alleged offender's actions are for sexual arousal or sexual gratification, or
- any other aspect of the touching, or the circumstances surrounding the touching, make it sexual.
Touching is not sexual if it is undertaken for genuine medical or hygienic purposes.
The offence of sexual act
Sexual act is an offence under section 61KE of the Crimes Act 1900.
The section states that a defendant is guilty of a sexual act if he or she, without the consent of the complainant and knowing the complainant does not consent, intentionally:
- carries out a sexual act with or towards the complainant, or
- incites the complainant to carry out a sexual act with or towards the defendant, or
- incites a third person to carry out a sexual act with or towards the complainant, or
- incites the complainant to carry out a sexual act with or towards a third person.
What is a 'sexual act'?
A 'sexual act' is defined by section 61HC as any act – other than sexual touching – which is carried out in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider it to be sexual.
The section provides that the matters to be taken into account when deciding if the act is sexual include whether:
- the area of the body involved in the act is the person's genital area, anal area or – in the case of a female person, or a transgender or intersex person identifying as female – the person's breasts, or
- the defendant's actions are for sexual arousal or sexual gratification, or
- any other aspect of the act, or the circumstances surrounding the act, make it sexual.
An act is not considered to be sexual if it is done for genuine medical or hygienic purposes.
The definition makes it clear there does not need to be any touching for an act to be sexual.
The maximum penalty is 18 months in prison.
Examples of sexual acts
Conduct which may constitute a sexual act includes:
- masturbating in front of the complainant,
- inciting the complainant to masturbate,
- carrying out a simulated sexual act, or
- inciting the complainant to carry out a simulated sexual act.
Defences to sexual touching and sexual act
In addition to proving the 'essential elements' of sexual touching or sexual act, the proseuction must also disprove beyond reasonable doubt any of the following defences if they are properly raised:
- Duress, which is where you were threatened or coerced,
- Necessity, where the act was necessary to avert danger, and
- Self-defence, where you engaged in the act to defend yourself or another, and
- Lawful correction of a minor.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.