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Conducting a Business involving a Sexual Servitude

Conducting a Business Involving Sexual Servitude is an offence under section 80E of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You conducted a business
  2. That business involved the sexual servitude of another or others, and
  3. You knew, or were reckless as to whether, sexual servitude was occurring

‘Sexual servitude’ is where a person:

  1. Provides sexual services due to threats or force, and
  2. Is not free to cease providing the services, or is not free to leave the place where the services are being provided.

‘Sexual service’ is the commercial use or display of the body for the sexual arousal or sexual gratification of others.

‘Conducting a business’ includes:

  1. Taking part in the management of the business
  2. Exercising control or direction over the business, or
  3. Providing finance for the business

The maximum penalty increases to 19 years in prison where the offence was committed in ‘circumstances of aggravation’, which is where the complainant:

  1. Was under the age of 18 years, or
  2. Had a cognitive impairment

A person has a ‘cognitive impairment’ if he or she requires assistance in daily life due to:

  1. An intellectual disability
  2. A developmental or neurological disorder
  3. Severe mental illness
  4. Dementia, or
  5. Brain injury

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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