Being convicted of online grooming charges will have long lasting effects including the convicted person experiencing difficulty in finding employment, being ostracised by the community and the inability to travel to certain locations. Being convicted of a sexual offence against a child will have very serious effects. The community and in turn the judiciary take an extremely serious view of criminal acts against children, particularly acts which are sexual in nature.
Child sexual offences are treated uniquely in legal proceedings due to the seriousness of the allegations. For example, consent is not a mitigating factor or defence. The law deems persons under the age of 16 unable to give informed consent. Also, when a court is determining the sentence to be imposed on a person found guilty of a child sexual offence, the ‘good character’ or the absence of a criminal record of the offender will not be taken into consideration as a mitigating factor if the court takes the view that this was of assistance to the offender in committing the offence.
If you have been charged with online grooming of a child, George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers can advise and represent you in legal proceedings to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved in your case. Every case is different and the evidence which the prosecution will seek to rely on in attempting to prove an accused person committed a certain offence will be different in every case. George Sten & Co can advise you on the strength of the prosecution’s case against you and the best steps to take to achieve a preferable outcome. This may include negotiating with the police to have the charges dropped or pleading not guilty and proving your innocence in court.
Crimes Act 1900 s. 66 EB
Section 66EB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) creates a number of offences involving the procuring or grooming of a child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity. These are extremely serious criminal offences and where an accused person is found guilty of committing an offence under this section, they will face a standard non-parole period of at least 4 years.
The offences under this section include:
If found guilty of an offence under this section, the Court has no choice but to sentence the convicted person to serve time in prison, being at least 4 years and up to 15 years. If you have been charged with an offence under this section, it is essential to speak with an expert criminal defence lawyer to ensure your case is properly heard.
There are a number of ways a person charged with an offence under s 66EB may be defended in legal proceedings. The best defence strategy will depend upon the particular facts of the case and the evidence the prosecution seek to rely on. The most important factor in any criminal matter which will determine the outcome is the strength of the evidence to be used against a defendant. The evidence is the only proof which the court will consider in determining whether or not a person is guilty.
Under s 66EB, the prosecution are required to prove that the defendant knew that the other person was a child. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant knew the other person was under 16 years of age, then an accused person is not guilty of an offence under the section.
Being charged with online grooming of a child can be extremely stressful. Call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers to speak with one of our expert lawyers who can advise you on the prospects of your case and defend you to the highest standard. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 during business hours or 0412 423 569 outside of business hours. We may also be contacted via email at [email protected].