Premises used for Child Prostitution

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Premises Used for Child Prostitution


In NSW an act of child prostitution in a premises over which a person has control is an offence.

A person can be charged with this offence if they have control over the premises the act is occurring in, either by being an owner, lease holder, licensee or resident at the premises.

A person can defend the matter by attempting to satisfy the court that they did not know about the act or did not know that one or more of the persons engaging in the act of prostitution was a child.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years imprisonment.

The legislation

The offence of Premises used for Child Prostitution is contained in s 91F of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:

  • Any person who is capable of exercising lawful control over premises at which a child participates in an act of child prostitution is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
  • For the purposes of this section, each person:
    • who is an owner, lessee, licensee or occupier of premises,
    • who is concerned in the management of premises or in controlling the entry of persons to, or their movement within, premises,

is to be considered as capable of exercising lawful control over the premises, whether or not any other person is capable of exercising lawful control over the premises.

  • A person is not guilty of an offence under this section relating to an act of child prostitution if the person satisfies the court:
    • that the person did not know about the act, or
    • that the person did not know that a child was participating in the act or, for any other reason, did not know that the act was an act of child prostitution, or
    • that the person used all due diligence to prevent the child from participating in the act.

What Actions Might Constitute Using

Premises for Child Prostitution?

Examples of Premises used for Child Prostitution include:

  • The licensee of a strip club allowing a fifteen year old to perform sexual acts for customers;
  • The owner of a house allowing men to come to the house and pay to have sex with their twelve year old daughter; and
  • A resident in a share house pretending not to notice a housemate who allows a homeless teenage boy to stay in his room in exchange for oral sex.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict a person of Premises used for Child Prostitution the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That they were in control of a licensed premises; and
  • That an act of child prostitution occurred in the premises.

Possible Defences

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To argue that you were not in control of the licensed premises;
  • To argue that an act of child prostitution did not occur in the premises;
  • To argue that you did not know an act of child prostitution occurred in the premises;
  • To argue that you did not know the person involved was a child;
  • To argue that did not know the act that occurred was one involving child prostitution; or

Jurisdiction

The offence is strictly indictable and can only be finalised in the District or Supreme Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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