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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Article 16: Sexual activity with a child

7.43.Article 16 makes it an offence for a person (A) aged 18 or over to intentionally engage in sexual touching of a child under 16. Where the child is aged 13 or over but under 16, the prosecution must prove that A did not reasonably believe that he was 16 or over. "Touching" is explained at Article 2(11) and covers all forms of physical contact including penetration; "sexual" is defined at Article 4. Whether or not the child consented to the activity is irrelevant.

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