A former Australian cricketer has made sexual assault allegations dating back to a tour in the 1980s.

At the time, the player was in the Australia under-19s squad. He claims the incident occurred on a tour of India and Sri Lanka when he was aged 18 years old.

The complainant also claimed that his assailant was a team official.

No charges have been laid and there are jurisdictional difficulties given the alleged incident occurred overseas.

AFP Investigation

The complainant reported the incident to Sports Integrity Australia. This led to an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation being commenced late last year. It is understood that Cricket Australia (CA) is co-operating.

The incident was said to occur in 1985 while the Australia under-19s team was on a tour of the sub-continent.

At the time the alleged victim was 18 years old. He claimed that a team official was the perpetrator.

The cricket official who is alleged to be the perpetrator has denied any wrongdoing.

Complainant Makes Sexual Assault Allegations

The complainant released a statement where he said he was relieved the 1985 tour was being investigated.

"Instead of being a highlight of my cricketing life, that tour has caused me trauma and distress over many years. Cricket Australia has a chance to distinguish itself by facing up to this issue and doing the right thing."

Sexual assault lawyers are expected to provide a list of questions to CA addressing:

  • what authorities knew about the team official when he led the tour;
  • whether any complaints were made about the official; and
  • whether or not the official had his employment terminated when he left cricket soon after the alleged incident.

The request will also include medical records from the tour, specifically what substance he was injected with by a team doctor on two occasions.

"My focus is on getting answers and on player welfare . I'm expecting Cricket Australia to take this very seriously," the alleged victim said.

Cricket Australia Issues Statement

Cricket Australia released a statement in response to the sexual assault allegations. They confirmed that they were aware of a police investigation into alleged historical offences on an overseas tour a number of decades ago.

"Cricket Australia is in contact with the alleged victim and is co-operating fully with the police investigation. Because the matter is being investigated by police, we are prevented from commenting further.Cricket Australia has no tolerance for any form of abuse and is committed to ensuring a safe environment for all staff, participants and their families in all their interactions with the game."

An AFP spokesperson did not comment on the investigation.

Sexual Assault Lawyers

The definition of sexual assault is engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. It is contained in  Section 61I of the Crimes Act  1900 (NSW).

One of the common defences to sexual assault is identification. If the Crown cannot establish that the Accused was the offender, then the offence cannot be proved. Often experts can be used such as DNA, fingerprint, CCTV and intoxication experts to cast doubt on identification.

In the present case, there is a significant delay in the complaint. Given the alleged incident occurred in the 1980s, there is almost a 40-year delay. However, Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986  sets out that a delay in complaint does not necessarily mean that the complaint is false.

There may also be good reasons why an alleged victim does not complain immediately. Despite this, there are also directions such as the Crofts  direction that allows a delay in complaint to be used to lead to a finding that the offence has not be been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

There are often also significant forensic disadvantages to the defendant as they are often unable to locate alibi witnesses, CCTV footage, medical documents and memory is often affected.

The maximum penalty for sexual assault 14 years Imprisonment. There is also a Standard Non-Parole Period which is 7 years imprisonment.

There have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. Having the best criminal lawyers will go a long way towards beating these charges. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

The definition of sexual assault is engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. It is contained in  Section 61I of the Crimes Act  1900 (NSW).

Sexual assault allegations are far more common today than at any time in the past. Community attitudes have changed shifted, in large part due to the #metoo movement. Unsurprisingly, this has made fighting such allegations more difficult than ever before.

A further difficulty in the present case is that the alleged incident occurred in another country. As such, any prosecution will have to based on a commonwealth offence and prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).