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25-year-old Gerrad Coddington and 29-year-old Christina Nelson-Coddington from Oklahoma, USA have both been described as nothing short of “evil” parents after they beat, handcuffed and sexually assaulted a two-year-old girl.

The Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mike Hunter has said that their actions were the worst he had ever seen.

“The actions of these two individuals, with regard to the children who were subjected to these horrific acts, unconscionable, unforgivable”.

“These are evil people who presented a danger to society.”

“Children are among the most vulnerable and defenceless in our society and crimes against them will never be tolerated by my office.”

An investigation into the couple commenced after a tip off via Facebook.

The tip claimed that the couple’s IP address was transferring child sexual material via the Messenger program.

The couple had also planned to commit incest with an unborn baby, which the pair had communicated online.

Authorities discovered over 6000 pages of communication between the pair involving the sexual offences. During a search of their property, sexual images were also discovered on an iPhone located on the couple’s property.

The couple have been given life sentences of imprisonment without parole for their child sex offences involving 29 counts- including sexual intercourse of a child, incest, and child pornography.

It is believed that the investigation also disclosed additional information suggesting that there are more children who have been victims of being beaten, handcuffed and raped. Including a 6-year-old child who was “restrained with handcuffs” and beaten with a taser.

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Child Rape Penalties in NSW

Sexual intercourse under the law is the sexual penetration of the genitalia.

It also includes the penetration of the anus, introduction of the penis into another’s mouth, orally stimulating someone’s genitals, and penetrating the lips, licking or sucking the genitalia (including the penis or vagina).

For a confidential discussion or you simply have a legal question on this topic, contact our criminal lawyers in Parramatta & CBD Sydney to arrange a free consultation.

Section 66C Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prescribes maximum punishment or sentences to those who commit the crime of sexual intercourse with a child aged under 16-years in NSW.

These maximum penalties for child sexual intercourse offences vary from 10 years jail to imprisonment for life- depending on the age of the child victim.

Where the child is aged 14 but under 16, the law prescribes a maximum sentence of 10-years imprisonment (section 66C(3) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

Where this offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum sentence is 12-years jail. This offence also has a 5-years standard non-parole period.

The standard non-parole period means the minimum period of jail the offender must spend in full-time custody before being eligible for parole. It only applies if the objective seriousness of the crime falls in the middle-of-the-range of seriousness for this kind of offence.

An important aspect of this is that the standard non-parole period does not automatically apply. The Court when imposing an appropriate sentence will have regard to it as a guide to reach a fair sentence.

Where the child is aged 10 but under 14, the law prescribes a maximum sentence penalty of 16-years jail, with a 7-year standard non-parole period.

Where this occurs in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty increases to 20-years jail, with a 9-years standard non-parole period.

Where the child is aged under 10, the law prescribes a maximum sentence of life in jail (section 66A Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

This means, the maximum sentence will require a child sex offender to be incarcerated for his/her entire natural life.

While the maximum sentence is there, it is not strictly applied in practice, and is reserved for the most serious offenders.

In the event a court decides not to impose a maximum sentence on a convicted child sex offender, the court will consider imposing a 15-years standard non-parole period.

What is ‘circumstances of aggravation’? This means where the offence is committed in any one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The child’s liberty was deprived.
  • The child was suffering a cognitive impairment, was intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, or was suffering a serious physical disability.
  • The child was under the authority of the offender.
  • Other people or another person was present at the time of the offence.
  • There was threat made to the child at the time.
  • Actual bodily harm was caused to the child at the time.

Click here for an outline on the law on child sex register for a child sex offender in NSW.

Published on 09/12/2019

AUTHOR 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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