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I was reading the following news: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150719/local/update-3-veteran-actor-john-suda-charged-with-violent-indecent-assault.577272

Essentially a person is being charged in Malta with "committing violent indecent assault" for allegedly placing a blindfolded woman's hand on his genitals.

How could this be considered "assault?"

And how could it be considered "violent?"

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The specific elements of the crime in question are going to be defined by Maltese law, which appears to be a blend of a European-style civil code with English-style common law.

However, under ordinary Anglo-American standards, the alleged acts do seem to meet the legal definitions of these terms.

At common law, an "assault" consists of placing someone in fear of an unwanted touching, and a "battery" is a completed assault; that is, an actual unwanted touching. If Mr. Suda, as alleged, took the victim's hand and touched it to his own genitals, without her consent, he committed an assault and battery. Any touching can constitute a battery, from a tap on the shoulder to a bullet in the head.

Likewise, at common law, "violence" is any degree of physical force. If he tricked her into touching his genitals, that would not be a crime of violence; if he physically moved her hand to his genitals with his own hand, then he used physical force, or violence, to commit the crime.

Again, what actually needs to be proven will depend on specifics you would need a Maltese lawyer to go into--but under general common law principles, neither "assault" not "violence" are particularly surprising.

  • Thanks for the clarification. It has been very insightful, and has helped me better understand the legal terms. – Zuiq Pazu Jul 21 '15 at 6:06

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