Release date: 20/06/23
Laws aimed at cracking down on child sex offenders by closing loopholes in the existing legislation have passed State Parliament.
Prior to the State Election, the Government committed to closing loopholes that gave people convicted of possessing either child pornography or child-like sex dolls the potential for more lenient sentences than those convicted of other child sex offences, creating a perception that these are less serious crimes.
Under the new laws, the possession of either child pornography or child-like sex dolls will be classified as serious indictable offences for the purpose of sentencing discounts, as opposed to just indictable offences.
Courts will also need to take into account the harm caused to children in the broader community through the fueling of demand for child sexual abuse when considering a bail application by an individual accused of possessing or distributing either child pornography or a child-like sex doll.
The crime related to exploitation in commercial sexual services is also being retitled to refer to exploitation in ‘commercial sexual acts’, to better reflect the exploitative and non-consensual nature of those offences such as using a child in commercial sexual acts.
This wording change is being undertaken while the South Australian and Federal Governments carry out broader reviews on sexual consent and sexual abuse laws, including issues advocated for by the Grace Tame Foundation’s Harmony Campaign.
Attributable to Kyam Maher
The way the laws were structured could have led to a perception that the Government and broader society viewed the crimes of possessing child pornography or child-like sex dolls as somehow being a less serious form of offending than other child sex offences.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that the possession of child pornography fosters an environment that condones the abuse of some of our most vulnerable and, it is our responsibility to send a clear message that this vile practice is treated as the serious offence that it is, and that perpetrators and offenders will be punished accordingly.
This is what the community would expect, and what these laws deliver.