Section 66EA Crimes Act | Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child


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The Legislation

Section 66EA of the Crimes Act is the offence of Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child and is extracted below.

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66EA Persistent sexual abuse of a child

(1) A person who, on 3 or more separate occasions occurring on separate days during any period, engages in conduct in relation to a particular child that constitutes a sexual offence is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

(2) It is immaterial whether or not the conduct is of the same nature, or constitutes the same offence, on each occasion.

(3) It is immaterial that the conduct on any of those occasions occurred outside New South Wales, so long as the conduct on at least one of those occasions occurred in New South Wales.

(4) In proceedings for an offence against this section, it is not necessary to specify or to prove the dates or exact circumstances of the alleged occasions on which the conduct constituting the offence occurred.

(5) A charge of an offence against this section:
(a) must specify with reasonable particularity the period during which the offence against this section occurred, and
(b) must describe the nature of the separate offences alleged to have been committed by the accused during that period.

(6) In order for the accused to be convicted of an offence against this section:
(a) the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the evidence establishes at least 3 separate occasions, occurring on separate days during the period concerned, on which the accused engaged in conduct constituting a sexual offence in relation to a particular child of a nature described in the charge, and
(b) the jury must be so satisfied about the material facts of the 3 such occasions, although the jury need not be so satisfied about the dates or the order of those occasions, and
(c) if more than 3 such occasions are relied on as evidence of the commission of an offence against this section, all the members of the jury must be so satisfied about the same 3 occasions, and
(d) the jury must be satisfied that the 3 such occasions relied on as evidence of the commission of an offence against this section occurred after the commencement of this section.

(7) In proceedings for an offence against this section, the judge must inform the jury of the requirements of subsection (6).

(8) A person who has been convicted or acquitted of an offence against this section may not be convicted of a sexual offence in relation to the same child that is alleged to have been committed in the period during which the accused was alleged to have committed an offence against this section. This subsection does not prevent an alternative verdict under subsection (10).

(9) A person who has been convicted or acquitted of a sexual offence may not be convicted of an offence against this section in relation to the same child if any of the occasions relied on as evidence of the commission of the offence against this section includes the occasion of that sexual offence.

(10) If on the trial of a person charged with an offence against this section the jury is not satisfied that the offence is proven but is satisfied that the person has, in respect of any of the occasions relied on as evidence of the commission of the offence against this section, committed a sexual offence, the jury may acquit the person of the offence charged and find the person guilty of that sexual offence. The person is liable to punishment accordingly.

(11) Proceedings for an offence against this section may only be instituted by or with the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(12) In this section:”child” means a person under the age of 18 years.”sexual offence” means any of the following:
(a) an offence under section 61I, 61J, 61JA, 61K, 61L, 61M, 61N, 61O, 66A, 66B, 66C, 66D, 66F, 73, 74, 78H, 78I, 78K, 78L, 78N, 78O, 78Q or 80A,
(b) an offence of attempting to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a),
(c) an offence under the law of a place outside New South Wales that would, if it had been committed in New South Wales, be an offence referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).