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Section 66EA Crimes Act 1900
Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child

Section 66EA of the Crimes Act 1900 is Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Defence Firm, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence team help you.

The Legislation

Section 66EA of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child‘ and reads as follows:

66EA Persistent Sexual Abuse of a Child

(1) An adult who maintains an unlawful sexual relationship with a child is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for life.

(2) An “unlawful sexual relationship” is a relationship in which an adult engages in 2 or more unlawful sexual acts with or towards a child over any period.

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

(4) In proceedings for an offence under this section, the prosecution:

(a) is not required to allege the particulars of any unlawful sexual act that would be necessary if the act were charged as a separate offence, and

(b) is required to allege the particulars of the period of time over which the unlawful sexual relationship existed.

(5) In order for the accused to be convicted of an offence under this section:

(a) the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the evidence establishes that an unlawful sexual relationship existed, and

(b) the jury is not required to be satisfied of the particulars of any unlawful sexual act that it would have to be satisfied of if the act were charged as a separate offence, and

(c) the members of the jury are not required to agree on which unlawful sexual acts constitute the unlawful sexual relationship.

(6) In proceedings for an offence under this section, the judge must inform the jury of the requirements of subsection (5).

(7) This section extends to a relationship that existed wholly or partly before the commencement of the relevant amendments, or the predecessor offence, if the acts engaged in by the accused were unlawful sexual acts during the period in which the relationship existed.

(8) A court, when imposing a sentence for an offence under this section constituted by an unlawful sexual relationship that existed wholly or partly before the commencement of the relevant amendments, must take into account (but is not limited by) the maximum penalty for the unlawful sexual acts engaged in by the accused during the period in which the unlawful sexual relationship existed.

(9) A person who has been convicted or acquitted of an unlawful sexual act in relation to a child cannot be convicted of an offence under this section in relation to the same child if the unlawful sexual act of which the person has been convicted or acquitted is one of the unlawful sexual acts that are alleged to constitute the unlawful sexual relationship.

(10) A person who has been convicted or acquitted of an offence under this section for having an unlawful sexual relationship with a child cannot be convicted of an unlawful sexual act in relation to the same child if the occasion on which the unlawful sexual act is alleged to have occurred is during the period over which the unlawful sexual relationship was alleged to have existed. This subsection does not prevent an alternative verdict under subsection (13).

(11) A person who has been convicted or acquitted of a predecessor offence in relation to a child cannot be convicted of an offence under this section of having an unlawful sexual relationship with the same child if the period of the alleged unlawful sexual relationship includes any part of the period during which the person was alleged to have committed the predecessor offence.

(12) For the purposes of subsections (9)-(11), a person ceases to be regarded as having been convicted for an offence if the conviction is quashed or set aside.

(13) If on the trial of a person charged with an offence under 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 under this section, committed an unlawful sexual act, the jury may acquit the person of the offence charged and find the person guilty of that unlawful sexual act. The person is liable to punishment accordingly.

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

(15) In this section:

“adult” means a person who is of or above the age of 18 years.

“child” means a person who is under the age of 16 years.

“predecessor offence” means this section before its substitution by the Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Act 2018 .

“relevant amendments” means the substitution of this section by the Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Act 2018 .

“unlawful sexual act” means any act that constitutes, or would constitute (if particulars of the time and place at which the act took place were sufficiently particularised), any of the following offences:

(a) an offence under section 61I, 61J, 61JA, 61K, 61KC, 61KD, 61KE, 61KF, 66A, 66B, 66C, 66D, 66DA, 66DB, 66DC, 66DD, 66DE, 66DF, 66F or 80A,

(b) an offence under a provision of this Act set out in Column 1 of Schedule 1A,

(c) an offence of attempting to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a) or (b),

(d) an offence under a previous enactment that is substantially similar to an offence referred to in paragraphs (a)-(c),

(e) 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 paragraphs (a)-(d).

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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