Sexual Touch Penalties (Child Aged 10-16) in NSW

Sahar Adatia.

 

A hairdresser from Sydney’s north-west suburb of Hornsby has been charged over the alleged sexual touching of two teenage girls believed to have come forward over the alleged sexual acts.

According to NSW Police, the incidents date back to May 2021 when officers from Ku-ring-gai Police Area Command were alerted to reports a 15-year-old girl had allegedly been sexually touched by a man while she attended a hairdressing salon in Asquith.

Officers commenced an investigation, and during its course, it was established a 17-year-old girl was also allegedly sexually touched by a man while at the hair salon.

Until recently, widespread inquiries were being carried out into the matter, all until 11 November when detectives executed a search warrant at a hairdressing business at Asquith.

During the search, police seized a series of document along with a computer.

Both were submitted for extensive examination.

Finally, on 19 November, investigators arrested a 68-year-old man at Hornsby Police Station.

He was charged with intentionally sexually touch child between 10 and 16 years, and sexually touch another person without consent.

The man was released on strict conditional bail and will face Hornsby Local Court on 15 December.

Investigations into the matter are still underway.

Sexual Touch Penalties (Child Aged 10-16) in NSW

In NSW, under the law, sexual touching refers to a person touching another person with any part of the body or with anything else, or through anything, including anything worn by the person doing the touching or by the person being touched, in circumstances where a reasonable person would consider the touching to be sexual.

Sexual touching is a criminal offence, and as prescribed by section 61KC of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail.

However, when the victim at hand is a child between the age of 10 and 16, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years in jail.

This is reflected in section 66DB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which makes clear that an offence takes place where a person intentionally:

  • sexually touches a child who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 16 years, or
  • incites a child who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 16 years to sexually touch the person, or
  • incites a child who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 16 years to sexually touch another person, or
  • incites another person to sexually touch a child who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 16 years.

 

Not the First Time A Sydney Hairdresser Has Been Accused of Sexually Assaulting A Child

Worryingly, this incident is not the first time a hairdresser in Sydney has been accused of sexually touching a child.

Back in 2020, an elderly hairdresser was accused of sexually assaulting his teenage client more than 35 years ago in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Specifically, the man was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old client both at his Rose Bay hairdressing salon and a Double Bay house in 1984.

On 18 May 2020, detectives investigating the sexual assaults arrested a 76-year-old man.

He was charged with two counts of sexual assault of a person aged under 16.

Following this, in June of the same year, the man was hit with additional charges after a former Sydney co-worker came forward expressing historical allegations of sexual assault.

According to police, the woman worked at the salon in 1985 and was aged 50 at the time of coming forward with the allegations.

After investigations, the man was charged with rape and two counts of sexual assault knowing no consent was given.

Meanwhile, back in January 2019, another hairdresser in Elizabeth Bay was accused of raping his five-year-old step-daughter after drinking with a friend.

The man, aged 36, was dramatically arrested at the harbourside salon.

He faced one charge of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years of age and one charge of intentionally inciting a child under 10 to carry out a sexual act in Waverley Local Court.

The child’s mother, who happened to be the accused’s partner, and her parents, attended court in support of the man, with the family facilitating $15,000 of a $20,000 surety to be put down

“In the case where the allegations are made against my client… that she and her parents should be prepared to support the application speaks volumes,” the defence for the man told the court in a successful bail application.

The mother then provided the court with an affidavit stating the accused was a “good father” and that he shared an “incredible bond” with the young girl.

In what turned out to be a convoluted case, eventually, the defendant was granted bail on the condition he submit a $20,000 surety and made no contact with the child.

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