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Grooming a Child for Unlawful Sexual Activity

Grooming a Child for Unlawful Sexual Activity is an offence under Section 66EB(3) of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison or 12 years if the child was under 14 years of age.

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

  1. You were at least 18 years of age
  2. You groomed a child for unlawful sexual activity, and
  3. You did so intentionally

‘Groomed’ means to:

  1. expose a child to indecent material, or provide a child with an intoxicating substance, or with any financial or material benefit
  2. Intending to make it easier to procure the child for unlawful sexual activity.

‘Procure’ means to encourage, entice, recruit or induce, whether by threats, promises or otherwise.

A ‘child’ is someone under the age of 16 years.

‘Unlawful sexual activity’ covers a broad range of conduct, including:

  1. Sexual act
  2. Sexual touching
  3. Sexual intercourse
  4. Producing child abuse material
  5. Forced self-manipulation, and
  6. Child prostitution

The prosecution does not need to specify the type of activity you groomed the child for the offence extends to procuring adults who pretend to be children, provided the prosecution proves you believed the adult was a child.

A defence to the charge is that you reasonably believed the other person was not a child.

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