This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

Sexual Offences (NSW)


There is a wide range of sexual offences in New South Wales. These range from minor offences to sexual assaults which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. This page outlines the main sexual offences in New South Wales. Most sexual offences are governed by the Crimes Act 1900 and are based on a lack of consent by the victim.

Sexual Touching

The offence of sexual touching is committed when a person touches a person sexually without their consent. Whether touching is sexual depends on the part of the body touched and the nature of the touching. Sexual touching is what used to be known as indecent assault and is one of the most common sexual offences. This offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

Indecent Exposure

A person commits the offence of indecent exposure if they expose themself indecently in a public place or in view of a person in a public place. This offence carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for one year.

Sexual Act

A person commits the offence of sexual act if the accused engages in a sexual act with another person without the other person’s consent. This offence carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 18 months.

Act of Indecency

A person commits the offence of an act of indecency if the accused engages in a sexual act with a child under the age of 16 that does not involve physical contact. This may consist of indecent exposure in the presence of a child or sending obscene material to a child.

Sexual assault

A person commits sexual assault if they have sexual intercourse with another person without the other person’s consent. Sexual assault is one of the most serious sexual offences and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years or a maximum penalty of 20 years where the sexual assault is aggravated. A sexual assault is aggravated if the offender is in company with another person.

Bestiality

A person commits the offence of beastiality if they have any form of sexual intercourse with an animal.

Procuring for Prostitution

In New South Wales, it is a criminal offence to procure a person for prostitution.A person procures a person for prostitution if they entice or encourage a person who is not a prostitute to engage in prostitution.

Filming a Person’s Private Parts

In New South Wales, it is an offence to film a person’s private parts while the person is in a place where they could reasonably expect to have privacy, such as a change room or public toilet. The offence is aggravated if the person filmed is a child under 16.

Children Employed for Pornographic Purposes

In New South Wales, it is an offence to employ children for pornographic purposes.

Obtaining Benefit from Child Prostitution

It is an offence to benefit from child prostitution in New South Wales. This offence occurs when a person knowingly receives money as a result of child prostitution. The maximum penalty that applies to this offence depends on the age of the child involved.

Possession of Child Abuse Material

It is an offence to possess child abuse material (child pornography). This offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.

Premises Used for Child Prostitution

The offence of using premises for child prostitution occurs when a person allows premises that they control (whether as an owner, lesser or occupier) to be used for child prostitution.

Intimidation and Stalking

The offence of intimidation of stalking covers a range of behaviours, including harassment and molestation and approaching a person in a way that causes them to fear for their safety.

If you require legal advice or representation in relation to sexual offences or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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