Causing an article to be carried by a postal or similar service to groom another person in order to make it easier to procure a person under the age of 16 years is an offence under section 471.25A(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
To ‘procure’ is to encourage, entice, recruit or induce, whether by threats, promises or otherwise.
‘Sexual activity’ includes sexual intercourse, sexual touching and other acts of a sexual nature.
You are not guilty of the offence if you establish to the court on the balance of probabilities that you believed the recipient to be at least 16 years of age, or the participant to be at least 18 years of age.
For the purpose of establishing your belief about age any representation made to you that the recipient or participant was under, of or over a certain age is proof that you believed he or she was, or they were, of the represented age unless there is evidence to the contrary.
When determining your belief about age, the court may consider a range of matters including:
It is immaterial that the recipient was a fictitious person representing themselves as a real person.
You may be found guilty even if it was impossible for the sexual activity to take place.
You are not guilty if you attempted but failed to convey the article to the recipient or participant.
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