The presence of a minor in a sex club is a summary offence, according to Section 21D of the Summary Offences Act 1998.
If you are the owner of a Sydney sex club and a minor is found to be on the premises, you could be liable for criminal charges and a potential prison sentence of up to two years.
What is the definition of a minor?
A minor is defined by the law as someone under the age of 18 at the time of the offence being committed.
What is the definition of a sex club?
A sex club is an establishment which has been declared to be a venue for live sex entertainment.
For a premises to be a declared sex club, there needs to be an application made to the government minister by a senior police officer, and there also needs to be no other laws in effect preventing minors from entering the premises, for example, liquor licensing laws.
If your premises has been officially declared a sex club, you or someone else who has the responsibility of running operations, will be served with a notice informing you of this.
Once you have been officially served, it is an offence to allow a minor to enter or remain on the premises, or any part of the premises, associated with live sex entertainment.
Am I still liable if I didn’t know a minor was present?
If you have been charged with a minor being on the premises of a sex club that you own or manage, it is a valid defence if you were genuinely unaware of their presence.
As long as your defence can prove that you had no knowledge of the presence of a minor, and could not have prevented them entering with due diligence, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
If you had reason to believe that a person present in the club was over the age of 18, you may also be able to successfully defend yourself against charges of having a minor present at a sex club.
If you are facing charges, it is best to speak to a criminal defence lawyer about the most appropriate defence for your situation.
Can police search my club without warning?
If police officers have a reasonable suspicion that there are minors present at a declared sex club, they have the power to enter at any time of day or night without warning.
They are also allowed to use force to enter if access is denied, and they can remove any minors they find on the premises.
Is there anything else I need to know?
The law also states that all Sydney sex clubs must have clear notices displayed at the entrances, which prohibit minors from entering.
If you don’t display these notices, you may be liable for criminal conviction and additional penalties.
If you have been charged under the Summary Offences Act for having a minor present on the premises of a sex club, make sure you seek legal advice and representation from experienced criminal lawyers.
With the right defence, you may be able to avoid a criminal conviction altogether.