Men who choose to take part in ‘stealthing’ could be charged with sexual assault, according to legal experts.
‘Stealthing’ is when a male removes a condom without consent of their partner while having sex.
NSW Law Society president Pauline Wright said ‘stealthing’ is sexual assault.
“Removing a condom after there’s been a prior agreement that a condom is going to be used, basically undoes that agreement. Because there is no consent,” she said.
UOW Law Professor Julia Quilter said ‘stealthing’ can be categorised as sexual assault.
“Under the NSW Crimes Act a continuation of a sexual act that may have started consensually but then at some point stopped being consensual, and then was continued would then be sexual assault,” Prof. Quilter said.
In Australia, the maximum penalty for sexual assault is 14 years.
“You first need to look at if the stealthing was nonconsensual. If it was, it could potentially be sexual assault, depending on the circumstances and the aggregated and mitigating factors in and around the context,” she said.
“So, the various things to do with the offender, the type of assault that occurred if, for instance, a grievous bodily disease was contracted as a result of that.”
UOW student Lauren Mulhall described ‘stealthing’ as “disgusting, creepy, unjust, gross and wrong”.
She didn’t understand why men would do it. She said it was selfish. “They want to feel more so they take it off and don’t consider the ramifications of what happens when you don’t wear a condom. And, technically, it could be considered as rape.”