Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 Charges
Sexual assault of a child under 16 have you been charged or facing charges?
Sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 is a very serious charge. If you are convicted, then you will be given a custodial sentence. You need to speak to a lawyer right away.
Some questions to discuss with your lawyer are: Did you sexually touch a child under the age of 16? Did you sexually touch yourself in the presence of a child under the age of 16? Did you get them to or allow them to sexually touch you? Did you get the child to touch or be sexually touched by another person? Did you interact with the child in a way that was not explicitly sexual but you found arousing or gratifying?
If you are not more than two years older than the defendant and they are older than 12, then this can be used in your defence.
If you had a reasonable belief the child was older than 16, and they were actually older than 12, then this is also a defence.
Sexual Assault of a child under 16 – The Offence
The prosecution must prove:
- The defendant took part in an act of sexual touching with the alleged victim;
- The defendant intended to take part in that act of sexual touching;
- The alleged victim was aged under 16 at the time the sexual touching took place;
- The touching is either sexual or contrary to community standards of acceptable behaviour.
Sexual Assault of a child under 16 -The Maximum Penalty
Level 5 imprisonment being a maximum of 10 years.
Where Will My Case Be Heard
Sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 cases can only be heard in the County Court or Supreme Court of Victoria.
Questions to Consider
What is the reason for touching the child in the way you did? Were you aware of the real age of the child involved? What steps did you take to ascertain the age of the child? Are you no more than two years older than the complainant? Did the sexual penetration occur at all? If you are planning to plead guilty, what can you do to try to minimise your sentence?
What to do Next
You need to talk to a professional about this very serious charge. This sort of charge will not be easily dealt with – you need assistance.
If you have been charged with sexual assault of a child under 16 you should make an appointment to speak with one of our lawyers immediately so that you can start organising your defence.
Sexual assault of a child under the age of 16
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A intentionally—
(i) touches another person (B); or
(ii) causes or allows B to touch A; or
(iii) causes B—
(A) to touch, or to continue to touch, themselves; or
(B) to touch, or to continue to touch, another person (C); or
(C) to be touched, or to continue to be touched, by C; and
(b) B is a child under the age of 16 years; and
(c) the touching is—
(i) sexual; and
(ii) contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).
(3) Whether or not the touching is contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct depends on the circumstances.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)—
(a) the circumstances include—
(i) the purpose of the touching; and
(ii) whether A seeks or gets sexual arousal or sexual gratification from the touching;
(b) the circumstances do not include—
(i) whether B consents to the touching; or
(ii) whether A believes that B consents to the touching.
1 An exception applies to this offence—see section 49U.
2 A defence applies to this offence—see section 49W.
3 A mistaken but honest and reasonable belief that the touching was not sexual or contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct is not a defence to this offence—see section 49ZC.
If you have been charged with sexual assault of a child under 16 you should make an appointment to speak with one of our sex offence lawyers immediately so that you can start organising your defence. 03 8644 7320
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