Monday, 15 June 2020
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019; In Committee
That's my bad, Chair; I started speaking before you had given me the call. I apologise for that.
Thank you for that answer, Minister. Just to be clear, I'm not asking about a circumstance where the offender is a minor—that is, under the age of 18. I understand that there is a carve-out in this legislation that covers that circumstance. I'm asking about where the offender is 18. Let's use an example. Yes, this is hypothetical. Believe me, Minister, I have not forgotten what it is like to be young and I hope you haven't either. This may be hypothetical, but you can bet your bottom dollar that situations similar to the one I am describing would happen on a regular basis. I want to ask you again about someone who is 18 years and one day old. Let's say, hypothetically, it is a male. He has a girlfriend who is 15 years and 364 days old—under 16 and under the age of consent—so there is effectively an age difference of two years and two days between those two people. And if, for example, those two people are on a school trip, let's say, to New Zealand, and the male who is 18 years and one day old and in year 12 has sex with his girlfriend who is 15 years and 364 days old. If a prosecution was launched, the judge would have no alternative other than to sentence that 18-year-old teenager to six years imprisonment. And the only succour you can offer this Senate is that you don't believe that a prosecution would be proceeded with in that circumstance. Is that correct?