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Public Acts of Prostitution

Public Act of Prostitution is an offence under Section 20 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison.

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

  1. You took part in an act of prostitution, and
  2. The act took place in or within view from a school, church, hospital or public place, or within view from a dwelling

An ‘act of prostitution’ includes sexual intercourse and masturbation between two or more people.

A ‘public place’ is a place or part of a premises that is open to, or used by the public, whether or not for payment, and whether or not only open only to a limited class of persons.

It includes privately owned places that are open to the public.

The offence extends to acts that occur within vehicles.

You are not guilty if you are able to satisfy the court, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that you had lawful authority to engage in the conduct.

Duress is also a defence to the charge.

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