Section 66EB Crimes Act | Procuring or Grooming


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The Legislation

Section 66EB of the Crimes Act is the offence of Procuring or Grooming and is extracted below.

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66EB Procuring or grooming child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity

(1) Definitions In this section:”adult person” means a person who is of or over the age of 18 years.”child” means a person who is under the age of 16 years.”conduct” includes:
(a) communicating in person or by telephone, the internet or other means, or
(b) providing any computer image, video or publication.
unlawful sexual activity” means an act that constitutes an offence under this Division or Division 10A, 15 or 15A (or, in the case of an act occurring outside this State, that would constitute such an offence if it occurred in this State).

(2) Procuring children An adult person who intentionally procures a child for unlawful sexual activity with that or any other person is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) in the case of a child who is under the age of 14 years–imprisonment for 15 years, or
(b) in any other case–imprisonment for 12 years.

(2A) Meeting child following grooming An adult person:
(a) who intentionally meets a child, or travels with the intention of meeting a child, whom the adult person has groomed for sexual purposes, and
(b) who does so with the intention of procuring the child for unlawful sexual activity with that adult person or any other person,
is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) in the case of a child who is under the age of 14 years–imprisonment for 15 years, or
(b) in any other case–imprisonment for 12 years.

(2B) For the purposes of subsection (2A), a child has been “groomed for sexual purposes” by an adult person if, on one or more previous occasions, the adult person has engaged in conduct that exposed the child to indecent material.

(3) Grooming children An adult person:
(a) who engages in any conduct that exposes a child to indecent material or provides a child with an intoxicating substance, and
(b) who does so with the intention of making it easier to procure the child for unlawful sexual activity with that or any other person,
is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) in the case of a child who is under the age of 14 years–imprisonment for 12 years, or
(b) in any other case–imprisonment for 10 years.

(4) Unlawful sexual activity need not be particularised In any proceedings for an offence against this section, it is necessary to prove that the child was or was to be procured for unlawful sexual activity, but it is not necessary to specify or to prove any particular unlawful sexual activity.

(5) Fictitious children A reference in this section to a child includes a reference to a person who pretends to be a child if the accused believed that the person was a child. In that case, a reference in this section:
(a) to unlawful sexual activity includes a reference to anything that would be unlawful sexual activity if the person were a child, and
(b) to the age of the child is a reference to the age that the accused believed the person to be.

(6) Charge for aggravated offence The higher maximum penalty under subsection (2), (2A) or (3) in the case of a child under the age of 14 years does not apply unless the age of the child is set out in the charge for the offence.

(7) Defence It is a defence in proceedings for an offence against this section if the accused reasonably believed that the other person was not a child.

(8) Alternative verdict If on the trial of a person charged with an offence against subsection (2) or (2A) the jury is not satisfied that the offence is proven but is satisfied that the person has committed an offence against subsection (3), the jury may acquit the person of the offence charged and find the person guilty of an offence against subsection (3). The person is liable to punishment accordingly.