The Law & Penalties for Engaging in Sexual Activity or Intercourse with a Child Outside Australia

 

It is reported that 33-year-old convicted paedophile Richard Huckle was discovered dead in his prison cell in Yorkshire on 13 October.

Reports indicate that Huckle was stabbed to death. While his death was confirmed by a prison service spokesman, police are still investigating the suspicious death.

Richard Huckle was a photographer and held an English teaching qualification which he used with religion to gain access to kids from a poor, disadvantage Malaysian community.

The children he strategically gained access to and raped ranged from babies aged 6-months old to children aged 12-years for a period between 2006 through to 2014.

Some of his victims were subject to it for over a 7-year period.

His first visit to Malaysia was during his teaching gap year at 19.

He subsequently utilised his English teaching qualification while professing Christianity in order to access the children in the disadvantaged communities.

The extent of his crimes didn’t stop just there. He would upload and share the images and video clips of his behaviour to a paedophile network on the dark web.

Huckle also attempted to crowdfund the release of his images on the dark web in an effort to make a business out of it.

By the time he was arrested, he had created a manual to teach paedophiles with ways to commit these crimes without getting caught.

In addition, he also created a “Pedopoints ledger” where he allocated himself marks according to the extent of his abuse to the victims.

It was revealed that about 23 of the children were from poor Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 71 of the criminal charges against Huckle were in relation to those 23 children.

The investigation uncovered over 20,000 images of child abuse on his computer.

Huckle’s crimes were discovered following a tip off by Australian authorities. He was arrested upon his arrival at the Gatwick Airport when he was on-route to meet his family for Christmas in 2014.

He was serving 22 life-sentences in 2016 for his crimes against babies and kids in Malaysia.

There are a range of penalties that apply for engaging in sexual activity and other offences that are committed outside Australia. This is also reflected on the CDPP website.

A Criminal Lawyers outline on the Law & Penalties for Engaging in Sexual Activity or Intercourse with a Child Outside Australia

The maximum penalty for having sexual intercourse with a child aged under 16-years, where the sexual intercourse occurs outside Australia is 20-years imprisonment according to section 272.8 Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for engaging in sexual activity (other than sexual intercourse) with a child, where the sexual activity occurs outside Australia is 15-years imprisonment under section 272.9 Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

To be sentenced for these crimes in Australia, the person accused of the charge is required to also be either a resident of Australia or Australian citizen.

What are the Defences to this Charge?

An accused person charged with having sexual intercourse or engaging in sexual activity with a child outside Australia will be ‘not guilty’ if any one or more of the following defences apply:

  1. If the accused person is not a Australia citizen or resident; or
  2. If the accused person can prove that at the time, he/she believed that the child was at least 16-years of age. Such a belief must be held on reasonable grounds based on established circumstances.

The Court or jury in a trial for this charge may determine the age of the alleged victim by considering factors such as:

  1. The alleged victim’s appearance.
  2. The alleged victim’s official or medical records from that country.
  3. Scientific or medical opinion as to the age of the alleged victim at the time of the alleged crime.

Have a question? Contact our criminal law firm in Sydney 24/7 to arrange a free consultation with a criminal lawyer in Sydney today.

About Jimmy Singh

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

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