Indecent act with or in the presence of a child under the age of 16

Section 47 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) sets out the statutory offence of indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child under the age of 16 years. In Victoria, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment. Like all sexual offences, it is a serious offence. A finding of guilt in relation to an offence of this nature will result in registration on the Sex Offenders Register.

Anything that you say in a police interview or to anyone else can potentially have consequences for the further conduct of your case. Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity is of vital importance in order to enable us to properly and expertly prepare a strategy to manage your matter.

To prove this offence, the prosecution must establish the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. That the accused committed an indecent act (or was a party to the commission of an indecent act);
  2. That the accused committed the act with or in the presence of the complainant;
  3. That the accused did so wilfully; and
  4. That the victim was under the age of 16 years.

The phrase ‘indecent act with’ or ‘in the presence of’ means indecent behaviour with, against or directed towards, a complainant only dealing with indecent acts involving children under the age of 16 years.