Section 66C Crimes Act 1900 | Sexual Intercourse Child Between 10 and 16


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Being charged with a child sex offence is understandably a highly upsetting and distressing experience that can have serious implications on your life.

However, taking the time to make sense of the law can assist you in understanding what the charges involve and how they could affect your life.

Our specialist sexual offence lawyers can then help you fight the charges by disputing the allegations against you and raising any possible defences.

Section 66C of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 10 and 16.”

It says that you commit an offence where you have sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 10 and 16.

It’s important to remember that the definition of “sexual intercourse” under the law is very broad.

Under the law, sexual intercourse refers to any type of genital or anal penetration, including using objects. It also includes any form of oral sex.

The maximum penalty for this offence depends on the age of the child involved:

  • Where the child was aged 10 years or older but and under 14, the maximum penalty is 16 years’ imprisonment.
  • Where the child is aged 14 years or older but under the age of 16, the maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment.

You could also face higher maximum penalties if the prosecution proves that you committed the offence in “circumstances of aggravation.”

Circumstances of aggravation are essentially factors that make the offence more serious. Under s 66C, there are 9 possible circumstances of aggravation:

  • Where you intentionally or recklessly inflict actual bodily harm upon the complainant either before, after or during the offence (actual bodily harm refers to harm that is more than transient or trifling, such as bruises or scratches);
  • Where you threaten to inflict actual bodily harm upon the complainant using an offensive weapon or instrument either before, after or during the offence;
  • Where you were with another person at the time that you committed the offence;
  • Where the complainant was under your authority (for example, where you were their carer, teacher, religious leader or any other position that involved trust);
  • Where the complainant has a serious physical disability;
  • Where the complainant had a cognitive impairment;
  • Where you took advantage of the complainant while they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Where you deprived the complainant of their liberty either before, after or during the offence;
  • Where you broke into a dwelling-house or building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence.

In these situations, the maximum penalty is harsher:

  • Where you had sexual intercourse with a child aged 10 years or older but under the age of 14 in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 20 years’ imprisonment.
  • Where you had sexual intercourse with a child aged 14 years or older but under the age of 16 in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 12 years’ imprisonment.

While these penalties may seem harsh, it’s important to bear in mind that they are maximums, which means that they will only apply in the most serious cases.

Our expert sexual assault lawyers can help you fight the charges to escape a conviction or avoid the onerous penalties imposed by the law.

The Legislation

Section 66C of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 10 and 16” and reads as follows:

66C Sexual intercourse – child between 10 and 16

(1) Child between 10 and 14: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 14 years is liable to imprisonment for 16 years.

(2) Child between 10 and 14-aggravated offence: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 10 years and under the age of 14 years in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

(3) Child between 14 and 16: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 14 years and under the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

(4) Child between 14 and 16-aggravated offence: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is of or above the age of 14 years and under the age of 16 years in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.

(5) In this section, “circumstances of aggravation” means circumstances in which:

(a) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby, or

(b) at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender threatens to inflict actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or any other person who is present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument, or

(c) the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, or

(d) the alleged victim is (whether generally or at the time of the commission of the offence) under the authority of the alleged offender, or

(e) the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or

(f) the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment, or

(g) the alleged offender took advantage of the alleged victim being under the influence of alcohol or a drug in order to commit the offence, or

(h) the alleged offender deprives the alleged victim of his or her liberty for a period before or after the commission of the offence, or

(i) the alleged offender breaks and enters into any dwelling-house or other building with the intention of committing the offence or any other serious indictable offence.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, our specialist defence lawyers have a proven track record of winning child sex offence matters, including “sexual intercourse with children aged between 10 and 14.”

As Sydney’s leading sexual offence lawyers, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you win your case.

Our expert lawyers take the time to thoroughly examine all the evidence in every case to find problems with the prosecution case. We can then raise these issues with the prosecution and push to have the charges dropped on this basis.

We can also help you identify any defences that may be raised to explain your actions, such as where the conduct was for a proper medical purpose, or where you honestly and reasonably believed that the complainant was not a child.

If the matter proceeds to court, we guarantee that you will only be represented by our senior defence lawyers and leading criminal barristers – so you can rest assured that you are receiving the best possible legal representation.

Should you wish to accept the charges against you and plead guilty, our lawyers will prepare all necessary material for your sentencing date to ensure that you receive the most lenient outcome possible.

For the strongest defence in your child sex matter, call us today on (02) 9261 8881 to book a FREE confidential first conference with one of our specialist sexual offence lawyers.