It is reported that a 77-year-old man had allegedly sexually touched four girls while they were underwater at a public pool in Kiama.
Reports were made by the girls to police alleging, that on 3 October, the 77-year-old man approached two girls who were aged 11 and 9 in the pool before touching them on the leg.
Only 5 days later, it is alleged that the same man touched two further girls on their legs and back only 5 days later in the same swimming pool. The girls were aged 11 and 10.
All four girls reported the incidents to the pool staff and NSW Police, which prompted an investigation resulting in the arrest and charge of a 77-year-old man last Tuesday. The man is now facing 6 counts of sexual touching. He was granted bail and is required to next appear at the Kiama Local court on 1 February 2021.
The prior known offence of indecent assault has been replaced with the offence of sexual touching in NSW.
Sexual touching is touching that is considered sexual by a reasonable person. The circumstances of the touching will be relevant in determining this by a court, including sexual gratification and the body part touched.
Sexual touching is an offence prescribed by section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), carrying up to five-years in jail.
The penalties are much tougher if the victim is a child aged less than 16, with the penalties ranging from 10 to 16 years in jail.
The offence also carries with it a restriction in the Judges discretionary sentencing process, in so far as an offender of sexual touching where the victim was or is a child will not be able to receive an Intensive Correction Order penalty.
An Intensive Correction Order (ICO) penalty is one step away from full-time imprisonment, and is still considered an imprisonment sentence, only it is an alternative to full-time custody.
With that said, a non-conviction penalty section 10 is not prohibited from being imposed by a court, even after pleading guilty to this charge.