What’s the Penalties Under the Law for Child Sexual Assault in NSW?

 

It’s reported that a 55-year-old man from Queensland has allegedly had sexual intercourse with a girl when she was 13-years of age which caused her to then conceive a baby boy born in mid of 1995.

The baby boy’s dead body was then discovered in a caravan park only hours after his birth in Perth.

Police say that the baby was found in a toilet cubicle by a cleaner who was working at the Kambalda Caravan Park when the cleaner saw the deceased baby face-down in the toilet.

The alleged mother of the child, now 38-years of age has been charged with murder, while Western Australia detectives travelled to Queensland to arrest and extradite the man who then appeared at the Perth Magistrates Court last Thursday.

It is alleged that the post-mortem report revealed that the baby has suffocated to death and wrapped in toilet paper.

Police are alleging that the 55-year old man had “engaged in unlawful sexual conduct with the victim over a number of years when the victim was aged between 11-years old and 16-years old.”

He has been charged with multiple counts of child sex offences, including sexual penetration of a child under 13.

Paul McGeever, the Caravan park owner according to WAtoday said that the baby was found lyng inside the toilet with only his back showing, the cubicle and floor was splattered with blood.

The baby was given a name by investigators as ‘Rijul’. He was eventually given a respectful funeral in the Children’s section of Kalgoorlie Cemetery on 1 August 1995 where about fifty people attended to farewell the newborn.

At the time, due to a lack of leads, the search for the baby’s mother had ceased following an interstate hunt.

Over 2 decades after the discovery, investigations have re-commenced following the arrest of the 38-year old woman and 55-year old man.

What’s the Penalties Under the Law for Child Sexual Assault in NSW?

NSW law says that a person who is less than 16-years of age is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.

The penalties are heavy for committing an act of sexual intercourse with an underage person.

Where the victim is under the age of 10, the maximum penalty is life in prison.

If a Court decides not to impose a life prison sentence to a convicted offender for this offence, the Judge will then be required as a guide to consider imposing the 15-years standard non-parole period.

The standard non-parole period is used as a yardstick for the sentencing Judge to reach a fair sentence, and it represents the minimum period of prison time the offender is required to spend in custody before being eligible for release on parole -if the offence is considered to be at the middle of the range of objective seriousness for such an offence.

Where the victim of sexual intercourse is 10 – 13 years of age, the maximum penalty an offender faces is 16-years prison, with a 7 years standard non-parole period pursuant to section 66C(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

If this is committed in circumstances of aggravation, the penalty goes up to 20-years prison, with a 9-years standard non-parole period under section 66C(2).

What makes the offence ‘aggravated’? The offence will be aggravated if any of the factors outlined in section 66C(5) applies, including, where actual bodily harm was inflicted from an assault on the child, threats of injury were made against the child, other people were also present at the time of the sexual intercourse or the victim was deprived of his/her liberty at the time.

Where the victim was 14-15 years of age at the time of the sexual intercourse, the maximum penalty the offender faces is 10-years prison under section 66(3). There is no standard non-parole period for this offence.

However, if this offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation, an offender is left to face a penalty of up to 12-years prison, with a 5-year standard non-parole period according to section 66C(4).

A common defence to this charge is the defence of an honest and reasonable mistake of fact as to the alleged victim’s age. It is a defence to this charge if the court accepts that the accused person held an honest and reasonable belief in the circumstances that the alleged victim was at least 16-years of age. This defence has been expressed and outlined in Proudman v Dayman [1941] HCA 28.

For more information on the criminal law on child sex charges, contact our criminal lawyers based in Sydney.

Our friendly team are available 24/7 who provide a same-day free first consultation.

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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