What is Child sex offences by Australians in Foreign Countries ?

Sexual offences committed within Australia and child sex tourism is a Commonwealth offence and is dealt with in section 272.8 of the Criminal Code 1995 (CTH) Act.

When prosecuting persistent sexual abuse, it is not even necessary for the prosecution to prove dates or exact circumstances of the offence. As long as the period in which the offence was committed can be identified with “reasonable particularity” and the nature of the crime can be described, the charge can be proved.

The judge or jury does not have to be satisfied that the events took place on particular days or in a particular order, as long as they are satisfied that three such instances took place.

Australian laws are tough on those who have planned to engage in child sexual abuse overseas but have not yet committed the crime.

Police have the power to intervene before the alleged offender has even left Australia. “Grooming” a child to later engage in sexual activity outside Australia is punishable by prison for 12 years.

The offence is committed if the defendant groomed a person under 16 years, or believed the person they were attempting to groom was under 16 years. The person they may have been grooming does not even have to be a real person.

This is important because it means that the offence is still committed if a detective or police officer poses as a child to catch sex offenders.

Mistaken belief about the age of the child is a defence – if the offender believed the person to be at least 16 at the time, they will not have committed an offence. However, it is up to the defence to prove that this was their belief at the time and the judge or jury can take into account whether this mistake was reasonable or not.

Offences involving a young person: Having sexual intercourse with a young person (aged between 16 and 18) overseas with a person over whom the offender has a position of trust or authority is also punishable by 10 years in jail.

There is no distinction in offence between sexually abusing a very young child and a teenager, although this may be reflected in sentencing.

Over 30 people have been charged with a child sex tourism offence since the introduction of legislation in 1994, which is fairly high by international standards, although amounts to less than two a year. About 70% of the cases prosecuted resulted in conviction.

When prosecuting persistent sexual abuse, it is not even necessary for the prosecution to prove dates or exact circumstances of the offence. As long as the period in which the offence was committed can be identified with “reasonable particularity” and the nature of the crime can be described, the charge can be proved.

The judge or jury does not have to be satisfied that the events took place on particular days or in a particular order, as long as they are satisfied that three such instances took place.

Australian laws are tough on those who have planned to engage in child sexual abuse overseas but have not yet committed the crime.

Police have the power to intervene before the alleged offender has even left Australia. “Grooming” a child to later engage in sexual activity outside Australia is punishable by prison for 12 years.

The offence is committed if the defendant groomed a person under 16 years, or believed the person they were attempting to groom was under 16 years. The person they may have been grooming does not even have to be a real person.

This is important because it means that the offence is still committed if a detective or police officer poses as a child to catch sex offenders.

Mistaken belief about the age of the child is a defence – if the offender believed the person to be at least 16 at the time, they will not have committed an offence. However, it is up to the defence to prove that this was their belief at the time and the judge or jury can take into account whether this mistake was reasonable or not.

Offences involving a young person: Having sexual intercourse with a young person (aged between 16 and 18) overseas with a person over whom the offender has a position of trust or authority is also punishable by 10 years in jail.

There is no distinction in offence between sexually abusing a very young child and a teenager, although this may be reflected in sentencing.

Over 30 people have been charged with a child sex tourism offence since the introduction of legislation in 1994, which is fairly high by international standards, although amounts to less than two a year. About 70% of the cases prosecuted resulted in conviction.

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    If you are charged with the offence of Child Sex Offences by Australians in Foreign Countries what are your options?

    National Criminal Lawyers are the best Sexual Assault Lawyers Sydney has to offer and our Sex Offence Lawyers Parramatta and elsewhere have been successful in defending a number of Child Sex Offences where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements of Child Sex Offences.

    NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Child Sex Offences;

    1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
    2. NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
    3. Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
    4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

    Fequently Asked Questions

    Why National Criminal Lawyers?

    There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

    1. We get the results

    We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose within our tailored Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced criminal lawyers who can make sure the evidence is not only obtained properly but also that your case is prepared and presented to the highest best practice standards possible. This is also done without breaking your pocket.

    2. We give a Senior Defence Lawyer guarantee

    No matter which option at law you choose, National Criminal Lawyers can guarantee that a Senior Defence Lawyer will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible.

    3. National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights

    At National Criminal Lawyers we know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. For this reason, we take pride and passion in representing our clients. This pride and passion to assist those charged with an alleged or actual breach of the criminal law is to us a matter of righteous necessity and in that sense, you can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights. This true not only when the police have just simply got it wrong OR if they have got it right then we can speak with you and make sure you get you the best result available.

    If you have been charged with any Child Sex Offences by Australians in Foreign Countries our Team at National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.

    Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.

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