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Indecent act with child under the age of 16

It is an offence to assault someone indecently while being aware that the person is not consenting or might not be consenting. Such an assault generally involves some form of inappropriate touching of the genital area or of a woman's breasts.

What the Law Says - Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 47

(1) A person must not wilfully commit, or wilfully be in any way a party to the commission of, an indecent act with or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 to whom he or she is not married.

Penalty: Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

(2) Consent is not a defence to a charge under subsection (1) unless at the time of the alleged offence-

(a) the accused satisfies the court on the balance of probabilities that he or she believed on reasonable grounds that the child was aged 16 or older; or

(b) the accused was not more than 2 years older than the child; or

(c) the accused satisfies the court on the balance of probabilities that he or she believed on reasonable grounds that he or she was married to the child. 

(3) If consent is relevant to a charge under subsection (1), the prosecution bears the burden of proving lack of consent.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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