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The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Sexual offences against children under 16

Sexual activity with a child

16.—(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b)the touching is sexual, and

(c)either—

(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii)B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Article, if the touching involved—

(a)penetration of B’s anus or vagina with a part of A’s body or anything else,

(b)penetration of B’s mouth with A’s penis,

(c)penetration of A’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body, or

(d)penetration of A’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3) Unless paragraph (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

17.—(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual, and

(c)either—

(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii)B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Article, if the activity caused or incited involved—

(a)penetration of B’s anus or vagina,

(b)penetration of B’s mouth with a person’s penis,

(c)penetration of a person’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body or by B with anything else, or

(d)penetration of a person’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3) Unless paragraph (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

18.—(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally engages in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual,

(c)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he engages in it—

(i)when another person (B) is present or is in a place from which A can be observed, and

(ii)knowing or believing that B is aware, or intending that B should be aware, that he is engaging in it, and

(d)either—

(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii)B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Causing a child to watch a sexual act

19.—(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he intentionally causes another person (B) to watch a third person engaging in an activity, or to look at an image of any person engaging in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual, and

(c)either—

(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii)B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Sexual offences against children committed by children or young persons

20.—(1) A person under 18 commits an offence if he does anything which would be an offence under any of Articles 16 to 19 if he were aged 18.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

Arranging or facilitating commission of a sex offence against a child

21.—(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally arranges or facilitates something that he intends to do, intends another person to do, or believes that another person will do, in any part of the world, and

(b)doing it will involve the commission of an offence under any of Articles 16 to 20.

(2) A person does not commit an offence under this Article if—

(a)he arranges or facilitates something that he believes another person will do, but that he does not intend to do or intend another to do, and

(b)any offence within paragraph (1)(b) would be an offence against a child for whose protection he acts.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2), a person acts for the protection of a child if he acts for the purpose of—

(a)protecting the child from sexually transmitted infection,

(b)protecting the physical safety of the child,

(c)preventing the child from becoming pregnant, or

(d)promoting the child’s emotional well-being by the giving of advice,

and not for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or for the purpose of causing or encouraging the activity constituting the offence within paragraph (1)(b) or the child’s participation in it.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

Meeting a child following sexual grooming etc.

22.—(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)A has met or communicated with another person (B) on at least two occasions, and subsequently—

(i)A intentionally meets B, or

(ii)A travels with the intention of meeting B in any part of the world or arranges to meet B in any part of the world, or

(iii)B travels with the intention of meeting A in any part of the world,

(b)A intends to do anything to or in respect of B, during or after the meeting mentioned in sub-paragraph (a)(i) to (iii) and in any part of the world, which if done will involve the commission by A of a relevant offence,

(c)B is under 16, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over.

(2) In paragraph (1)—

(a)the reference to A having met or communicated with B is a reference to A having met B in any part of the world or having communicated with B by any means from, to or in any part of the world;

(b)“relevant offence” means—

(i)an offence under this Order, or

(ii)an offence under any of sections 57 to 59 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c.42), or

(iii)anything done outside Northern Ireland which is not an offence under paragraph (i) or (ii) but would be an offence within paragraph (i) or (ii) if done in Northern Ireland.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

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