Section 66A Crimes Act | Sexual Intercourse Child Under 10


Print

Being accused of a child sex offence can be a highly distressing experience that has the potential to negatively impact your future life, as well as your relationships with family and friends.

However, the specialist sex offence lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers can advise you of the positive steps you can take when it comes to proving your innocence.

Often, a good starting point is understanding what the law says in relation to the offence you have been charged with.

Section 66A of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.”

It says that you will commit an offence where you have sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.

It’s important to bear in mind that the meaning of “sexual intercourse” under the law is very broad.

Under the law, “sexual intercourse” refers to any penetration of a person’s genitalia or anus, including using objects. It also includes oral sex.

If you are found guilty of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10, you will face a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.

There is a higher maximum penalty of life imprisonment if you commit the offence in “circumstances of aggravation.”

Circumstances of aggravation are simply factors that make the offence more serious. Under s 66A, there are 9 possible circumstances of aggravation, however the prosecution only needs to prove one.

The circumstances of aggravation are:

  • 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.

Both “sexual assault on a child under the age of 10” and “aggravated sexual assault on a child under the age of 10” carry a standard non-parole period of 15 years.

This means that 15 years imprisonment is the likely penalty for an offence in the middle range of objective seriousness.

While these penalties are obviously very harsh to reflect the seriousness of the offence, our expert senior defence lawyers can help you fight the charges to escape a conviction or secure the most lenient penalty possible.

The Legislation

Section 66A of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10” and reads as follows:

66A Sexual intercourse – child under 10

(1) Child under 10: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of 10 years is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 25 years.

(2) Child under 10 – aggravated offence: Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of 10 years in circumstances of aggravation is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for life.

(3) 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.

(4) A person sentenced to imprisonment for life for an offence under subsection (2) is to serve that sentence for the term of the person’s natural life.

(5) Nothing in this section affects the operation of section 21 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (which authorises the passing of a lesser sentence than imprisonment for life).

(6) Nothing in this section affects the prerogative of mercy.

(7) If on the trial of a person charged with another offence against this Act the person is instead found guilty of an offence against this section (as provided by section 61Q), the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the person for the offence against this section is the penalty for the offence charged.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with child sexual assault can affect your reputation and relationships, as well as potentially resulting in onerous penalties.

However, our highly skilled criminal defence team can give you the strongest possible defence in your matter.

We have a proven track record of consistently achieving far better results than other law firms, who lack the expert insight and experience of our specialist sexual offence lawyers.

We achieve these outstanding results by taking the time to carefully examine all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case and pushing to have the charges dropped outside of court on this basis.

Our expert defence team can also help you identify any defences to the charges, such as where your actions were for a proper medical purpose.

If the matter proceeds to court, we guarantee that you will be represented by our senior criminal defence advocates, who have extensive experience winning child sexual assault cases.

Alternatively, if you wish to accept the charges against you and plead guilty, our exceptional advocates will present your case in the most positive light to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

It’s important to remember that these are serious offences which require the insight and expertise of a highly experienced specialist lawyer.

For the best defence in your child sex case, trust in our experience. Call us today on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment
to discuss your case with our specialist sexual offence lawyers.