Grooming for sexual conduct with child under the age of 16 years- Statutory Offence : CRIMES ACT 1958 - SECT 49B

Elements Prosecution Must Prove

1. Accused is at least 18 and
2. Communicated with:
3. A child under the age of 16 years or or a person under whose care, supervision or authority the child is
4. With the intention of facilitating the child's engagement in or involvement in a sexual offence with that person or another person who is at least 18.

What is communication?

The communication can be proved by words or conduct.

How is intention to be proved?

Usually demonstrated through the words or conduct used by the accused being of a sexual nature.

Common defences:

Lack of knowledge of age of victim.

Dispute that words or conduct of accused indicate an intention of facilitating engagement in a sexual offence with the victim.

Sentencing

Grooming carries a maximum period of 10 years imprisonment. It is possible to avoid imprisonment in certain circumstances, depending on the seriousness of the circumstances of the offence and the existence of mitigatory factors.

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