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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Sex with an adult relative
Article 68: Sex with an adult relative: penetration
Article 69: Sex with an adult relative: consenting to penetration

7.139.Article 68 makes it an offence for a person (A) aged 16 or over intentionally to penetrate sexually a relative (B) who is aged 18 or over if he knows or could reasonably have been expected to know that B is his relative. Article 69 makes it an offence for a person (A) aged 16 or over to consent to being penetrated sexually by a relative (B) aged 18 or over if he knows or could reasonably have been expected to know that B is his relative. For either offence to be committed the penetration must be "sexual", as defined at Article 4. This requirement ensures that penetration for some other purpose, for example where one sibling helps another to insert a pessary for medical reasons, is not caught by this offence. Paragraph (2) of each Article defines "relative" for the purposes of each offence. Paragraph (3) of each section includes adoptive relatives in each offence.

7.140.The effect of paragraph (4) of each section is that, unless A shows from the evidence that there is an arguable case as to whether or not he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that B is his relative, it is presumed that he did know or could reasonably have been expected to know it.

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