Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child under the age of 16 charges
Have you been charged with Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child under the age of 16?
If you have been charged with persistent sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 then this is a very serious and complicated charge. If you are found guilty then you are headed towards a custodial sentence. You need legal help immediately.
Your lawyer will explain to you that this charge means that you are accused of sexually abusing a child on at least 3 occasions during a particular period. This particular charge allows for less proof being needed for specific incidences – the general conduct of the defendant is what is being assessed here. If you are charged with persistent sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 and found not guilty of that charge, you can still be found guilty of charges relating to individual acts that allegedly took place during the period with which you have been charged with persistent sexual abuse.
It is important that you read the sections on this website relevant to the particular charged acts that you have been accused of as well as this section. Acts that are included as ‘persistent sexual abuse’ include but are not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual penetration, engaging in sexual activity with, causing a child to be present during sexual activity and incest.
Some questions you want to discuss with your lawyer are: Did you sexually abuse a child under the age of 16? If so, did you do so on more than one occasion?
The prosecution must prove:
- The defendant committed an act of sexual abuse;
- An act of sexual abuse was committed by the defendant on at least three occasions within a specified timeframe;
- The alleged victim was under the age of 16 at the time the sexual abuse took place.
The Maximum Penalty
Level 2 imprisonment being a maximum of 25 years
Where Will My Case Be Heard?
Persistent sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 charges can only be heard in the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Questions to Consider
Read the pages relevant to the charges of individual incidences. Do you have any defences relevant to the defences for each section? If you are planning to plead guilty what can you do to try to minimise your sentence?
What to do Next
This charge is a particularly complex one, as even if you are not convicted of the ‘main charge’, you can be convicted of one or more of the alleged instances within the charge. You need a lawyer who can help you understand what you need to do to maximise your defence.
If you have been charged with Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child under the age of 16 then you need to contact us today. 03 8644 7320
CRIMES ACT 1958 – SECT 49J
Persistent sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A sexually abuses another person (B) on at least 3 occasions during a particular period; and
(b) B is a child under the age of 16 years during the whole of that period.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 2 imprisonment (25 years maximum).
(3) It is not necessary that the alleged acts be of a similar nature or constitute an offence under the same provision.
(4) It is not necessary to prove conduct constituting sexual abuse with the same degree of specificity as to date, time, place, circumstances or occasion as would be required if the accused were charged with an offence constituted by that conduct instead of an offence against subsection (1).
(5) For the purposes of subsection (1), A sexually abuses B if A engages in conduct that would involve the commission by A of any of the following—
(a) an offence against a provision of Subdivision (8A) (rape, sexual assault and associated sexual offences);
(b) an offence against section 49A(1) (sexual penetration of a child under the age of 12);
(c) an offence against section 49B(1) (sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16);
(d) an offence against section 49D(1) (sexual assault of a child under the age of 16);
(e) an offence against section 49F(1) (sexual activity in the presence of a child under the age of 16);
(f) an offence against section 49H(1) (causing a child under the age of 16 to be present during sexual activity);
(g) an offence against a provision of Subdivision (8C) (incest).
(6) Nothing in this section affects the operation of any exception or defence applicable or available to A in respect of the offence constituting the sexual abuse.
(7) If, on the trial of A for an offence against subsection (1), the jury is not satisfied that A is guilty of that offence but is satisfied that A engaged in conduct during the particular period that constitutes one or more instances of an offence against a provision referred to in subsection (5)—
(a) the jury—
(i) must find A not guilty of the offence against subsection (1); and
(ii) may find A guilty of the one or more instances of an offence against a provision referred to in subsection (5); and
(b) A is liable to the penalty for any offence of which, in accordance with this subsection, A is found guilty.
(8) Subsection (7) does not restrict the operation of section 239 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 .
(9) A prosecution for an offence under subsection (1) must not be commenced without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Note to s. 49J inserted by No. 65/2016 s. 24(2).
An offence against subsection (1) is a category 1 offence under the Sentencing Act 1991 . See section 5(2G) of that Act for the requirement to impose a custodial order for this offence.
If you have been charged with a Child Sex Offence call our Criminal Lawyers immediately. 03 8644 7320