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Indecent Treatment Of Children - QLD

What the law says

Section 210 of Criminal Code Queensland states:

Any person who

  • (a) unlawfully and indecently deals with a child under the age of sixteen years; or
  • (b) unlawfully procures a child under the age of sixteen years to commit an indecent act; or
  • (c) unlawfully permits himself to be indecently dealt with by a child under the age of sixteen years; or
  • (d) wilfully or unlawfully exposes a child under the age of sixteen years to an indecent act by the offender or any other person; or
  • (e) without legitimate reason, wilfully exposes a child under the age of sixteen years to any indecent object or any indecent film, videotape, audiotape, picture, photograph or printed or written matter; or
  • (f) without legitimate reason takes any indecent photography or records, by means of any device, any visual image of a child under the age of sixteen years,

is guilty of an indictable offence.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

Indecently Dealing

  • (a) the accused unlawfully and indecently dealt with a child;
  • (b) the child was under the age of sixteen years.

Procuring a child

  • (a) The accused unlawfully procured a child;
  • (b) To commit an indecent act
  • (c) The child was under the age of sixteen years

Permitting

  • (a) the accused permitted himself to be indecently dealt with;
  • (b) by a child
  • (c) The child was under sixteen years of age.

Exposing a child to indecent act

  • (a) the accused wilfully and unlawfully exposed a child;
  • (b) to an indecent act by the offender ( or another);
  • (c) the child was under sixteen years of age

Exposing a child to an indecent thing

  1. the accused wilfully exposed the child to an indecent object (or other specified indecent thing ):
  2. the accused did so without legitimate reason;
  3. the child was under sixteen years of age.

Recording indecent visual image

  1. the accused took an indecent photograph ( or recorded an indecent visual image) of the child;
  2. the accused did so without legitimate reason;
  3. the child was under sixteen years of age.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of indecent treatment of children is 20 years imprisonment, depending on the age of the child and the nature of the offence.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is an indictable offence which is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Identification of the accused
  2. Evidence by the accused that he/she had an honest and reasonable belief the child was older than sixteen years. The defendant must prove this.
  3. The actions did not amount to indecency in all the circumstances.
  4. The accused did not deal indecently or unlawfully.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal lawyer who is experience in Indecent Treatment of Children matters.)

 

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