Sexual Offences

Rape

Rape describes the actual penetration of another person in circumstances where the act alleged was done without the consent of the victim. Penetration is not only described as penial penetration, but includes the use of penetration of any ‘thing’ or body part (such as a finger) to the genitalia of another.

In order to prove an accused person guilty of rape, the prosecution must prove that the act complained of occurred without the consent of the party, or in circumstances where the victim did not have the capacity to consent.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is classified as form of assault, and occurs through the application of force and/or by the threatened application of force. To separate this offence from other forms of assault, the act complained of must have been one that is of a sexual nature. The test to determine whether or not an act complained of is one of a sexual nature is an objective test, namely whether or not a reasonable victim would have regarded the assault as being sexual in nature.

Procuring Sexual Intercourse or Sexual Acts

Procuring offences, or otherwise referred as ‘grooming’ offences, often occur through the use of the internet and technology. In Queensland, it is an offence to procure sexual acts by coercion, false pretence, or by stupefying the victim. Unlike rape and sexual assaults, a lot of the time, a physical act need not occur for a person to be charged with this offence.

Indecent Treatment Offences/ Sexual Offences Against Children

Sexual offences against children are an increasingly common charge, and a large number of offences can be classified under this umbrella. To be charged, the victim must be a person under the age of 16 years. Given that the victim is not of an appropriate age, it is immaterial as to whether or not the victim consented to the act.

Possession, Producing, or Distribution of Child Exploitation Material

Offences of this nature are considered extremely serious, even though there may not be a physical victim that can be identified. The definition of what constitutes child exploitation material is quite wide, and includes cartoon images where the person depicted is said to be under age. These charges, due to the need to protect children from exploitation, are viewed as very serious by the Courts. As such, careful consideration must be given to these matters. Russo Lawyers specialise in this area, and can provide you with considered advice to minimise the risk of imprisonment for these types of offending.

Persons convicted of an offence against children may be required to report to police after they are sentenced or released from custody. Due to the complex nature of the law governing these charges, each case must be examined carefully.

Further, if a person is convicted of an offence against a child, they are required to demonstrate ‘exceptional circumstances’ to escape a period of actual custody. Russo Lawyers provides tailored advice to ensure that you receive the best outcome applicable to your case.

Prostitution Offences

In Queensland, prostitution is only legal if the business is run in a licensed brothel or by sole operators in private spaces. Street prostitution, escort agencies, and the unlicensed sharing of premises by more than one sex work all amount to criminal offences.