Grooming – s 66EB Crimes Act
Charged with an offence of grooming, procuring or meeting a child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity is daunting. It will effect your life, and your family’s life. Our criminal defence lawyers specialise in child grooming and sexual cases, holding an exceptional reputation with a track record of proving their clients innocence, and getting these charges dropped early countless times for over 20 years. Speak to our team now for realistic guidance.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be guilty of grooming, procuring, or meeting a child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity if police can prove each of the following elements of your charge beyond reasonable doubt in court:
If charged with grooming child s66EB(3):
- You exposed the victim to indecent material either in person, over telephone, Internet or other means, computer images, videos or publications; or
- You provided him/her with an intoxicating substance, which includes any substance that effects the victim’s senses or understanding; and
- You intended to do this to make it easier to use the victim for unlawful sexual activity; and
- The victim was under 16 years of age.
If charged with meeting child after grooming s66EB(2A):
- You exposed the victim to indecent material either in person or by telephone, internet, by providing images, videos or publications; and
- You then intentionally met, or intentionally travelled to meet the victim; and
- You did this with the intention of using the victim for unlawful sexual activity; and
- The victim was under 16 years of age.
If charged with procuring child s66EB(2):
- You intended to obtain the victim for unlawful sexual activity; and
- The victim was under 16 years of age
Your charge will be dismissed and you will be found not guilty if police are unable to prove any one of the elements of the charge your faced.
The child’s consent is no defence to this offence under the law.
A child is a person under 16 years of age, but includes a person who pretends to be a child if you believed that the person was a child under 16.
‘Unlawful sexual activity’ includes any conduct involving a child, and includes sexual intercourse, attempts to have sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault, or attempts to commit any of these, sexual abuse, child prostitution, or child abuse material.
Defences to this charge
You will be Not Guilty if:
- You honestly believed the alleged victim was 16 years of age or more, and your belief was reasonably held in the circumstances.
- You had no intention of procuring i.e. Obtaining or using the child for unlawful sexual activity or attempts to do this. You may have a defence if your conduct is misinterpreted, or simply does not suggest any behaviour consistent with procuring the child for unlawful sexual activity.
- You involuntarily consumed an intoxicating substance that resulted in you being incapable of intending to procure the child, or incapable of voluntarily behaving the way alleged.
- Mistaken identity: Where you are wrongly accused of being the perpetrator.
- Word against word: It’s very difficult for police to prove the accusations beyond reasonable doubt in court without enough evidence. Especially where it’s simply the alleged victim’s words against your words, in the absence of any further evidence from police. Our senior lawyers will analyse the police evidence, and then pick out the inconsistencies before then using this to convince police to drop the charges early.
Your charge will be dismissed and you will be found not guilty if any one of the above defences apply to your case.
Our senior lawyers specialise in child sexual cases, holding an exceptional reputation and track record of successfully proving their clients innocence in court, and getting these charges dropped early countless times for over 20 years. Speak to our team for realistic advice on which defence best applies to your case, and how to strengthen it early.
If pleading guilty to this offence, urgently speak to an experienced expert in child sexual cases beforehand. See the following critically important tips and ways on how to best prepare your case to maximise your chances at the best possible outcome.
25% Discount on punishment
Pleading guilty to an offence of grooming, procuring, or meeting a child for unlawful sexual activity at the earliest time in your case will give you a discount of up to 25% off your punishment. This results in a more lenient outcome and better result.
The later the plea of guilty is entered, the less this discount becomes. This is why it’s critical to get advice from an experienced lawyer as early as possible.
Good character references
This is a letter from people you know, family, friends, work, charity and a letter of apology from you. It allows the Judge reading it to give a lighter punishment if it expresses the main points, such as, remorse, insight, shame, and your good character.
Our experienced team of lawyers will guide you through the process.
Negotiate to drop charges
By analysing the police evidence, pointing out all the problems in it, an experienced lawyer can use this to negotiate with police to get these charges dropped or downgraded early, saving you time and money.
Our senior lawyers have a proven track record of successfully convincing police to drop these charges countless times for over 20 years. They will use the best tactic suited to your case.
The police set of facts is a document initially drafted by police, expressing your offending conduct. It reflects what you plead guilty to, and can result in a harsher punishment if it’s one sided, putting you in the worst light which is often the case, unless you change it.
Our senior lawyers often change these facts to something more favourable to their clients, resulting in a better outcome in the end. This is usually achieved by tactful negotiations, after a thorough understanding of the holes in the police evidence.
By using a powerful court report from a respected and experienced psychologist or psychiatrist for the Judge to read, your court outcome can be significantly improved with a much lighter punishment.
For best chances at this, the report should express opinions of your state of mind, remorse, insight and shame. Our lawyers will carefully hand select the best suited expert to your case.
The maximum punishment for s66EB(3) offence of grooming is a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years. If the child is under the age of 14, then the maximum is up to 12 years imprisonment.
The maximum punishment for s66EB(2) or (2A)offence of procuring or meeting child after grooming is a term of imprisonment of up to 12 years. If the child is under the age of 14, the maximum is up to 15 years imprisonment.
It’s important to know that those maximum punishments are rarely given, and reserved to only the most serious of cases.
Types of punishment
The Judge will give you one of the following types of punishment depending on how you prepared and present your case, as explained above:
- Section 10 non conviction
- Section 9 good behaviour bond
- Community Service Order
- Section 12 suspended sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Home Detention
- Full Time Imprisonment
Speak to our leading team of criminal defence lawyers for realistic and practical advice. Our team of lawyers specialise in child grooming and sexual cases, with over 20 years experience of exceptional results. With their level of reputation and experience, they know exactly how to maximise your chances at getting the best possible result for your case.