Grooming a child under the age of 16 for sexual conduct charges
Have you been charged with grooming for sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16?
‘Grooming’ is a very serious criminal charge. This charge carries with it a term of imprisonment. You need to speak to a criminal lawyer about how to deal with this charge given your particular circumstances.
Some questions to discuss with your lawyer are: Did you groom a child for sexual conduct? What was the nature of communications with or about a child that took place?
This is what grooming is. It is not important whether or not the grooming gets any sort of response.
With a grooming charge, the charge is about your communication. If a sexual offence took place because of the grooming, then you have to look at our other pages on the specific charges for the defences and exceptions to those charges, for example sexual penetration or sexual assault of a child under the age of 16.
The alleged encouragements need not even be in person, but can also be via electronic communication – for example via Snapchat or email. Either you or the child or the child’s carer, supervisor or person in authority over them must have been in Victoria for some part of the alleged encouragement – or if none of these people were, the activity that is being encouraged must be planned to take place in Victoria.
The prosecution must prove:
- The defendant is aged 18 years or more;
- The defendant communicated by words or conduct with either an alleged victim under the age of 16 or someone with the care, supervision or authority over the alleged victim; and
- The communication intended that the alleged victim was to engage or be involved in the commission of a sexual offence.
The Maximum Penalty
Level 5 imprisonment, being a maximum of 10 years.
Where Will My Case Be Heard?
Grooming to sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16 cases can only be heard in the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria
Questions To Consider
What was the nature of communication with the child? What was your intention with this communication? Did you communicate with another adult regarding the child and what was the purpose of this communication?
What to Do Next
The next step when dealing with a grooming charge is to speak to a lawyer who is an experienced criminal specialist. A specialist lawyer can give you the best and most up-to-date advice. Make sure you are not underrepresented.
If you have been charged with grooming for sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16 you should make an appointment with our firm today. 03 8644 7322
Grooming for sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A is 18 years of age or more; and
(b) A communicates, by words or conduct (whether or not a response is made to the communication), with—
(i) another person (B) who is a child under the age of 16 years; or
(ii) another person (C) under whose care, supervision or authority B is; and
(c) A intends that the communication facilitate B engaging or being involved in the commission of a sexual offence by A or by another person who is 18 years of age or more.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
(3) A does not intend to facilitate B engaging or being involved in the commission of a sexual offence by A or by another person who is 18 years of age or more if, were the conduct constituting the sexual offence to occur, A or the other person would satisfy an exception, or have a defence, to that sexual offence.
(4) It is immaterial that some or all of the conduct constituting an offence against subsection (1) occurred outside Victoria, so long as B or C was, or B and C were, in Victoria at the time at which that conduct occurred.
(5) It is immaterial that B or C was, or B and C were, outside Victoria at the time at which some or all of the conduct constituting an offence against subsection (1) occurred, so long as A was in Victoria at the time that conduct occurred.
(6) It is immaterial that A, B and C were all outside Victoria at the time at which some or all of the conduct constituting an offence against subsection (1) occurred, so long as A intended that the sexual offence would occur in Victoria.
(7) In this section—
“communication” includes an electronic communication within the meaning of the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000;
“sexual offence” means—
(a) an offence against a provision of Subdivision (8A), this Subdivision (other than section 49K(1) or this section), (8C), (8D), (8E), (8F) or (8FA); or
(b) an attempt to commit an offence covered by paragraph (a); or
(c) an assault with intent to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a).
If you have been charged with a child sex offence call one of our accredited criminal law specialists today. 03 8644 7320