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All over Australia, Sexually related offences are dealt with a high form of severity either in penalties to the offender or speed in a court proceeding. It is no different in Queensland, as sexually related offences usually attract severe punishments as provided in the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld).
The most crucial aspect of sexual offences is whether there was “consent” to the act by both parties. Where one party is cheated, tricked or coerced to such an act, the Law begins to unravel the matter as to the concerns of “Consent”.
If an individual is convicted in a QLD court for a sexual offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check in QLD.
In the majority of instances, sexual offences are dealt with as an indictable crime in QLD.
Sexual offences range from the more criminal and severe form of Rape (penetration without consent) to other less severe yet important types like indecent touching and sexual manipulation. The punishment for sexual offences in Queensland varies depending on the type of offence and what the prosecution can prove against the offender.
There are few ambiguities in the Law when it handles the Rape charge; the Act establishes a rape offence where the accused person does any of this;
Section 349 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) prescribes a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for an offence of Rape.
A contextual difference in laws between Queensland and the other States/Territories on Rape is that the laws in Queensland only refer to Rape if consent was never given to the act. It does not include cases where the complainant withdraws initial consent during the process, or the accused only becomes aware of "no-consent" after intercourse occurs.
As Rape is the most serious of all sexual offences, the attempt to commit the offence also carries severe punishments. An attempt under section 4 of the Criminal Code includes where the person begins to commit their intention to action but does not commit the offence.
An attempt to commit Rape or other forms of sex without the other party's consent incurs a punishment of 14 years imprisonment.
The actions constituting sexual assaults are usually broad, but they all include that the other party does not consent to it. Some indecent acts constituting sexual assault includes;
The offence of sexual assault carrries a ten years imprisonment term; it may be extended if there are other factors to the offence or if the person is a repeat offender within a period. If the assault was part of an intent to commit Rape, the court may issue penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment.
It is an aggravated form of the offence if the person commits such action with a weapon, threat, violence, or another person's company. Also, any of these actions against a child (under 17 years) constitute a case of aggravation.
Those found guilty of sexual assault with aggravating circumstances are liable to maximum punishments of life imprisonment.
The definition of Indecency may be ambiguous under the Queensland laws, but it is an offence to commit such actions to offend a person or group in public. Acts of Indecency usually incorporate behaviours or actions that pass for immorality under cultural, civil and religious definitions.
For example, it is an offence to expose any part of your genitals or private regions in public without adequate legal reason. It may even be an aggravating circumstance that the act was committed in the presence of a child.
Section 227 of the Criminal Code, which specifies the offence, prescribes a maximum punishment of 2 years imprisonment.
The Queensland Law explicitly prohibits a person from having carnal knowledge with a close relation/family. Section 222 specifies the offence prohibits all sexual relationships with a person's
The Law prescribes a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment. This period can be aggravated if it is between an adult and a child. Unlike other sexual offences, it makes no difference that both parties consent to the act.
Section 210 of the Act prohibits all actions concerning the indecent treatment of children. Such offences are usually broad when determining the actions that may constitute them. Also, such offences against children are handled depending on the child's age or the severity of the offence.
The offence of indecent treatment of a child includes all cases where the adult;
The punishments for such offence varies depending on the age and “condition” of the child such that;
It is also a defence (in the case of a child with impairment) if the offending adult can prove they were reasonably unaware of the child’s impairment.
It is defined as the act of having carnal knowledge with an animal, either domestic or wild. Section 211 specifies the maximum punishment of a seven years imprisonment term for all offenders. It can become an aggravating circumstance that the animal is not a possession of the offender at the time of the offence.
It is an offence to be the owner, caretaker or manager of a premise or building and allow/induce/know it is used for indecent activity relating to children. It includes all the proscribed acts by sections 210 and 215 of the QLD Criminal Code.
The Act prescribes punishments regarding the age and severity of the offence such that;
For this context, a person under 16 is a child under the Queensland legislation. Section 215 of the Act makes it an offence to have any sexual relationship or knowledge with a child. It is crucial to this part and every other part regarding children that under 16 years cannot grant Consent under Queensland (Australian) laws.
The penalty for this offence varies depending on the age of the child at the time of the offence;
However, if the child has an impairment of intellectual capabilities, the offender is liable to a life imprisonment term.
People with impairment of mind are considered vulnerable under the Queensland and Australian laws. The court cannot hold them responsible for many of their actions, especially if it is proven that their impairment affected their decision.
It is a severe offence for anyone, their legal guardian or a stranger, to exploit them, especially in a sexual manner.
The offences of having carnal knowledge with such persons incur a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
It is also a severe offence to deal indecently or in a manner that will constitute an offence to a person with impairment.
Section 216 of the Act details the acts that constitute such offence as;
It is an offence to engage in this act to cause the child to engage in a sexual act or other indecent matter or expose them to it. Anyone guilty of this offence commits a crime where the Act stipulates punishments up to 5 years imprisonment.
However, the adult is liable to 10 years imprisonment if the victim is under 12 years or an "imaginary" person the offender knows to be less than 12 years.
The court can consider the maximum penalty for all who share prohibited visual recordings, especially without the person's consent. Section 227B of the Act imposes a maximum penalty of 3 years for all offenders.
The Criminal Code details the offence of using threats or other intimidatory actions to coerce another person into a sexual act. For this case, it is irrelevant that the act occurred in Queensland or outside the State .
It includes all cases where the person uses false pretence, drugs the person, or overpowers the person through any means to engage in a sexual act. For this offence, the court imposes penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment.
A person who knows the quality or content to be exploitative to a child commits a crime. The Act stipulates maximum punishments of 20 years imprisonment if the offender takes specific steps to remain anonymous in the offence. Otherwise, the standard penalty is a 14 years imprisonment term.
Consent is the bedrock of most sexual offences in Australia and Queensland. Consent may be ambiguous to both parties unless they understand what it means under Queensland laws. Section 348 negates all consent where;
If an individual is found guilty of a sexual offence in QLD, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their criminal record check.
Individuals can obtain a criminal history check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.
Criminal Code Act 1989 (Qld) - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1899-009
Criminal Code Act 1989 (Qld) (Austii References) - http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/qld/consol_act/cc189994/
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