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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Indecent Act with Child Under 16


In Victoria, the offence of indecent act with a child under 16 carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. The offence is contained in section 47 of the Crimes Act. That provision states that a person must not wilfully commit an indecent act with or in the presence of a child under 16. .

What the Police Must Prove

To find a person guilty of indecent act with a child under 16, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. They committed an indecent act or they were party to the commission of an indecent act;
  2. They committed the act with or in the presence of the victim;
  3. They did so wilfully;
  4. At the time of the indecent act the victim was under the age of 16; and
  5. The accused was not married to the victim.

There is no definition of what constitutes an ‘indecent act’ in the Crimes Act. It is any act that is contrary to community standards of decency.

Possible Defences for Indecent Act with a Child Under 16

A person charged with this offence may argue in their defence:

What Court will Hear this Matter?

The matter is an indictable offence, meaning it is usually heard in the County Court. In some circumstances, it can be dealt with in Magistrates’ Court.

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

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