Laws, Penalties & Defences for Child Grooming Offences in NSW

 

Simon Akkerman who is an accomplished cinematographer, who’s worked on Russel Crowe’s film Master & Commander has been charged with historical child grooming offences.

It is reported that 63-year-old Akkerman was charged with 8 counts of indecency with a child aged under 14 that occurred nearly 30-years ago.

It’s reported that he sexually abused two boys on his lounge and bedroom.

After pleading not guilty to all counts, the jury members hearing the trial at the District Court of WA took only a few hours of deliberation before they came back with a verdict of ‘guilty’ to all counts.

District Court Judge Prior said, “You treated the victims as your sexual objects for the purpose of your own sexual gratification.”

“There was, in my view, significant grooming activity… by you to the extent that the sexual activity between you and the two victims became normalised.”

Simon Akkerman who is an accomplished cinematographer, who’s worked on Russel Crowe’s film Master & Commander has been charged with historical child grooming offences.

He was sentenced by the District Court for 7-years imprisonment.

He will be required to serve at least 5 of those years in full-time custody before eligibility for release back into the community on parole.

Statistics state that the majority of child abuse offenders are men with their victim’s being female.

Want to speak to a specialist criminal lawyers Sydney CBD or Parramatta based? Call our 24/7 advice line for a free consultation with one today.

Laws, Penalties & Defences for Historical Child Grooming Offences in NSW

There have heavy penalties for grooming children in NSW.

Anyone who engages in conduct exposing a child to indecent material or provides that child with intoxicating substance or with financial or material benefit with the intention of making it easier to procure that child for unlawful sexual activity will face a maximum sentence of 12-years jail if the child is under the age of 14. (section 66EB(3)(a) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

If the child is aged 14 or more (but less than 16), the maximum penalty for this is 10-years imprisonment.

The maximum jail sentence is 15-years for intentionally procuring a child for unlawful sexual activity where the child is under the age of 14 (section 66EB(2)(a) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

The maximum penalty is 12-years if the child is 14 or over (but under 16).

The maximum sentence is 15-years jail for intentionally meeting a child (aged under 14), or travelling with the intention of meeting a child (aged under 14), then grooming the child for sexual purposes if this is done with the intention of procuring the child for unlawful sexual activity.

The maximum penalty is 12-years jail if the child is 14 or over (but less than 16).

In the case of child grooming under section 66EB(3), the police is required to prove each of the following elements beyond reasonable doubt before an accused can be found guilty of it:

  1. The victim was a child aged under 16; and
  2. Either one of the following:
    • The alleged offender exposed the child to indecent material; or
    • The alleged offender provided the child with an intoxicating substance effecting the child’s understanding or sense; or
    • The alleged offender exposed the child to an intoxicating substance in order to make it easier to use that child for unlawful sexual activity.

The definition of a child under the law here includes a person who is not a child but pretends to be one if the accused person believed that person to be a child aged under 16.

A defence to child grooming charges is expressed in section 66EB(7) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It says that it is a defence to this charge if the accused person held a reasonable belief that the other person was not a child.

Check out our previous article on this for more information on the law & defences to child grooming charges.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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