PHONE: (07) 3153 6215 [email protected]

MAINTAINING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHILD

Maintaining a sexual relationship with a child is one of the most serious sexual offences in Queensland. The police cannot charge a person with the offence. A person can only be charged with the offence if the Director of Public Prosecutions or another Crown Law Officer gives their consent. This is how serious the charge is.

The way a person gets charged with an offence of maintaining is they will have been charged by police with sexual offences involving a child. When the person’s charges leave the Magistrates Court to the District Court, the DPP will prepare an indictment. It is at the indictment preparation stage the DPP will decide to indict the offence of maintaining.

 

 

WHAT IS THE CHARGE OF MAINTAINING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHILD?

Section 229B of the Criminal Code contains the offence of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child. Section 229B provides in part:

(1) Any adult who maintains an unlawful sexual relationship with a child under the age of 16 years commits a crime.

Maximum penalty—life imprisonment. 

(2) An unlawful sexual relationship is a relationship that involves more than 1 unlawful sexual act over any period.

 

WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE?

 

For the prosecution to prove this offence beyond reasonable doubt, they must prove:

  1. The defendant was an adult- this means they must have been 18 years or older.
  1. The complainant was a child under 16 years of age.
  1. The defendant had an unlawful sexual relationship with the child.

The word “unlawful” means not authorised, justified, or excused at law.

To prove there was a “sexual relationship” means the prosecution must prove there was more than 1 unlawful sexual act over any time.

A “Sexual Act” is defined in the Criminal Code as being: “an act that constitutes, or would constitute (if it were sufficiently particularised), an offence of a sexual nature”.

An Offence of a “Sexual Nature” is defined in the Criminal Code to be the following offences:

(a)  Indecent treatment of a child under 16, except for the offence when it involves the defendant:

(i) exposing a child to an indecent object or any indecent film, videotape, audiotape, picture, photograph or printed or written matter; or

(ii) taking an indecent photograph or recording, by an indecent visual image of a child under the age of 16 years.

(b) Carnal knowledge with or of children under 16.

(c) Incest

(d) Rape.

(e) Attempted rape.

(f) Sexual assault.

 

  1. The defendant “maintained” the unlawful sexual relationship with the child.

The relationship between the defendant and child must have been carried on, kept up or continued. There needs to be an ongoing nature to the sexual relationship between the defendant and child. There needs to be a continuity of contact between them, as opposed to isolated incidents.

 

WHAT IS THE SENTENCE FOR MAINTAINING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHILD?

The maximum penalty is Life Imprisonment.

 

WHERE WILL MY CHARGE BE HEARD?

 

A charge of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child is heard in the District Court.

 

 

WHAT DEFENCES ARE THERE FOR MAINTAINING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHILD?
  1. There defendant did not have a sexual relationship with the child.
  2. If it is alleged the child was 12 years or older at the time of the offence, the defendant believed on reasonable grounds the child was at least 16 years old.

 

 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF CHARGED WITH MAINTAINING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHILD?

If the police has charged you with a sexual offence involving a child, get legal advice now. Don’t sit back thinking the charge will go away. Every criminal offence is serious and can have serious consequences for you. A conviction for an offence involving a child will have significant repercussions for you. You need the experience of the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group in your corner fighting for you. Pick up the phone and dial (07) 3153 6215 or fill out the form below for a free no-obligation chat. Contacting us may be the best thing you do.

 

If you have been

charged with a

criminal offence,

contact us TODAY

for a FREE chat.

(07) 3153 6215

Image padlock with tick