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Sexual Offences

Sex offences are very serious and are generally dealt with by the District Court. Being convicted of sex offences can have serious repercussions, including a strong likelihood of immediate imprisonment and becoming a registered sex offender.

The more common sex offences include:

  1. Sexual penetration without consent (commonly known as “rape”);
  2. Indecent dealing with a child; and
  3. Possessing, distributing and creating child exploitation material (commonly known as “child pornography”).

What is consent?

Consent must be freely and voluntarily given. Consent cannot be given by force, threats, intimidation, deceit or fraudulent means.

If a person does not physically resist, that does not of itself mean that they are consenting.

The minimum age of consent is 16 years. A child under the age of 16 years cannot legally consent to sexual behaviour, acts or penetration. This age can vary if the child is under your care, control or supervision.

What is sexual penetration?

Sexual penetration is penetrating a person’s vagina, anus or urethra using any body part or object. It also includes cunnilingus and fellatio.

This offence can occur against adults or children.

Indecent dealing with a child

Indecent means offensive to common proprietary.

To “deal with” means doing any act which, if done without consent, would constitute an assault.

Assault means applying any force to another person without their consent, either directly or indirectly.

Whether an assault is indecent depends on the circumstances of the case and may depend on a number of factors.

Procuring, inciting, encouraging a child into sexual activity, or actual sexual activity can also be considered as “indecent dealing”.

Child Exploitation Material

It is an offence to possess, distribute and create child exploitation material.

Child exploitation material can include any object, picture, file, written or printed matter, or data which depicts a person who appears to be a child engaging in sexual activity or in a sexual context.


The penalties vary depending on the exact offence, but in most circumstances, will result in a term of immediate imprisonment.

The court will in some circumstances consider a suspended term of imprisonment.

If you are convicted of a sexual offence, you will be required to become a registered sex offender, and will be subject to strict requirements and reporting for a number of years. It is also likely that a lifetime restraining order will be made against you protecting the adult or child victim.

It is important that you are properly represented by one of our expert defence lawyers for either a plea of guilty and sentencing, or a plea of not guilty and trial in a sex offence matter. Chambers Legal can be contacted on (08) 9500 8915 to arrange an initial consult and representation in court.

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