​Tough new laws for child sex offenders

Issued: Wednesday, 24 June 2015

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Child sex offenders will now face tougher sentences under legislation passed by the NSW Parliament, NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced.

The NSW Government has today delivered on its election commitment to increase the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 from 25 years to life, and include additional child sex offences in the Standard Non-Parole Period (SNPP) Scheme.

Ms Upton said the legislation will help ensure sentences better align with community expectations.

“The NSW Government has wasted no time in delivering this key election promise. Child sex offenders will now face more time behind bars. Importantly, the laws will help better protect and deliver justice for the victims of child sexual assault,” Ms Upton said.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Child Sex Offences) Bill 2015 amends the Crimes Act 1900 to remove the current distinction between the basic and aggravated offence of sexual intercourse with a child under 10. The consolidated offence will carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The Bill also amends the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (CPSA) to introduce 13 new SNPPs for offences such as attempt, or assault with intent, to have sexual intercourse with a child under 10, sexual intercourse with a child 10 to 14 years old and aggravated sexual intercourse with a child 10 to 14 years old.

SNPPs act as a sentencing guidepost to the judiciary. The new SNPPs will be significantly higher than the current average sentences for those offences.

Ms Upton again thanked Deputy Premier Troy Grant and all members of the Parliamentary Committee on Sentencing of Child Sexual Assault Offenders who recommended the changes.