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Unlawful Sodomy Of Person Under 18

What the law says

Sections 208 (a) of the Criminal Code states:

Any person who-

sodomises a person under 18 years commits a crime.

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.

Section 208(a)

  1. The accused with his penis actually penetrated the anal orifice of the complainant;
  2. That the complainant was under 18 years of age at the time.
    There is no need for ejaculation to occur, or for penetration to be of any particular depth or last any particular time.
    Consent is irrelevant.
    It is a circumstance of aggravation if the complainant was
    • (a) a child under 12 years; or
    • (b) a child who is, to the knowledge of the accused,
      • (i) is lineal descendant
      • (ii) under his guardianship or care

. It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Unlawful Sodomy of a Person Under 18 is 14 years imprisonment.  The maximum penalty where there are circumstances of aggravation is life imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Identification i.e. not the accused
  2. Accused believed on reasonable grounds the complainant was 18 years or older.
  3. Where the circumstance of aggravation is that the child was 12 years of age or more, the accused had reasonable grounds to believe the person in respect of whom he committed the offence was 18 years or more.
  4. Accused did not know he was related where lineal descent is a circumstance of aggravation.
  5. Duress

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Unlawful Sodomy of a Person under 18 matters)


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