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Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 42)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Sexual Offences Act 2003

2003 CHAPTER 42

CONTENTS

Content
  1. Part 1

    Sexual Offences

    1. Rape

      1. 1. Rape

    2. Assault

      1. 2. Assault by penetration

      2. 3. Sexual assault

    3. Causing sexual activity without consent

      1. 4. Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent

    4. Rape and other offences against children under 13

      1. 5. Rape of a child under 13

      2. 6. Assault of a child under 13 by penetration

      3. 7. Sexual assault of a child under 13

      4. 8. Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity

    5. Child sex offences

      1. 9. Sexual activity with a child

      2. 10. Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

      3. 11. Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

      4. 12. Causing a child to watch a sexual act

      5. 13. Child sex offences committed by children or young persons

      6. 14. Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence

      7. 15. Meeting a child following sexual grooming etc.

    6. Abuse of position of trust

      1. 16. Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity with a child

      2. 17. Abuse of position of trust: causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

      3. 18. Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity in the presence of a child

      4. 19. Abuse of position of trust: causing a child to watch a sexual act

      5. 20. Abuse of position of trust: acts done in Scotland

      6. 21. Positions of trust

      7. 22. Positions of trust: interpretation

      8. 23. Sections 16 to 19: marriage exception

      9. 24. Sections 16 to 19: sexual relationships which pre-date position of trust

    7. Familial child sex offences

      1. 25. Sexual activity with a child family member

      2. 26. Inciting a child family member to engage in sexual activity

      3. 27. Family relationships

      4. 28. Sections 25 and 26: marriage exception

      5. 29. Sections 25 and 26: sexual relationships which pre-da disorder">34. Inducement, threat or deception to procure sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder

      6. 35. Causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in or agree to engage in sexual activity by inducement, threat or deception

      7. 36. Engaging in sexual activity in the presence, procured by inducement, threat or deception, of a person with a mental disorder

      8. 37. Causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act by inducement, threat or deception

    8. Care workers for persons with a mental disorder

      1. 38. Care workers: sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder

      2. 39. Care workers: causing or inciting sexual activity

      3. 40. Care workers: sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder

      4. 41. Care workers: causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act

      5. 42. Care workers: interpretation

      6. 43. Sections 38 to 41: marriage exception

      7. 44. Sections 38 to 41: sexual relationships which pre-date care relationships

    9. Indecent photographs of children

      1. 45. Indecent photographs of persons aged 16 or 17

      2. 46. Criminal proceedings, investigations etc.

    10. Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

      1. 47. Paying for sexual services of a child

      2. 48. Causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography

      3. 49. Controlling a child prostitute or a child involved in pornography

      4. 50. Arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography

      5. 51. Sections 48 to 50: interpretation

    11. Exploitation of prostitution

      1. 52. Causing or inciting prostitution for gain

      2. 53. Controlling prostitution for gain

      3. 54. Sections 52 and 53: interpretation

    12. Amendments relating to prostitution

      1. 55. Penalties for keeping a brothel used for prostitution

      2. 56. Extension of gender-specific prostitution offences

    13. Trafficking

      1. 57. Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitati

      2. Other offences

        1. 66. Exposure

        2. 67. Voyeurism

        3. 68. Voyeurism: interpretation

        4. 69. Intercourse with an animal

        5. 70. Sexual penetration of a corpse

        6. 71. Sexual activity in a public lavatory

      3. Offences outside the United Kingdom

        1. 72. Offences outside the United Kingdom

      4. Supplementary and general

        1. 73. Exceptions to aiding, abetting and counselling

        2. 74. "Consent"

        3. 75. Evidential presumptions about consent

        4. 76. Conclusive presumptions about consent

        5. 77. Sections 75 and 76: relevant acts

        6. 78. "Sexual"

        7. 79. Part 1: general interpretation

    14. Part 2

      Notification and orders

      1. Notification requirements

        1. 80. Persons becoming subject to notification requirements

        2. 81. Persons formerly subject to Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997

        3. 82. The notification period

        4. 83. Notification requirements: initial notification

        5. 84. Notification requirements: changes

        6. 85. Notification requirements: periodic notification

        7. 86. Notification requirements: travel outside the United Kingdom

        8. 87. Method of notification and related matters

        9. 88. Section 87: interpretation

        10. 89. Young offenders: parental directions

        11. 90. Parental directions: variations, renewals and discharges

        12. 91. Offences relating to notification

        13. 92. Certificates for purposes of Part 2

        14. 93. Abolished homosexual offences

      2. Information for verification

        1. 94. Part 2: supply of information to Secretary of State etc. for verification

        2. 95. Part 2: supply of information by Secretary of State etc.

      3. Information about release or transfer

        1. 96. Information about release or transfer

      4. Notification orders

        1. 97. Notification orders: applications and grounds

        2. 98. Notification orders: effect

        3. 99. Sections 97 and 98: relevant offences

        4. 100. Interim notification orders

        5. 101. Notification orders and interim notification orders: appeals

        6. 102. Appeals in relation to notification orders and interim notification orders: Scotland

        7. 103. Sections 97 to 100: Scotland

      5. Sexual offences prevention orders

        1. 104. Sexual offences prevention orders: applications and grounds

        2. 105. SOPOs: further provision as respects Scotland

        3. 106. Section 104: supplemental

        4. 107. SOPOs: effect

        5. 108. SOPOs: variations, renewals and discharges

        6. 109. Interim SOPOs

        7. 110. SOPOs and interim SOPOs: appeals

        8. travel orders: Scotland">120. Appeals in relation to foreign travel orders: Scotland

        9. 121. Sections 114 to 118: Scotland

        10. 122. Offence: breach of foreign travel order

      6. Risk of sexual harm orders

        1. 123. Risk of sexual harm orders: applications, grounds and effect

        2. 124. Section 123: interpretation

        3. 125. RSHOs: variations, renewals and discharges

        4. 126. Interim RSHOs

        5. 127. RSHOs and interim RSHOs: appeals

        6. 128. Offence: breach of RSHO or interim RSHO

        7. 129. Effect of conviction etc. of an offence under section 128

      7. Power to amend Schedules 3 and 5

        1. 130. Power to amend Schedules 3 and 5

      8. General

        1. 131. Young offenders: application

        2. 132. Offences with thresholds

        3. 133. Part 2: general interpretation

        4. 134. Conditional discharges and probation orders

        5. 135. Interpretation: mentally disordered offenders

        6. 136. Part 2: Northern Ireland

    15. Part 3

      General

      1. 137. Service courts

      2. 138. Orders and regulations

      3. 139. Minor and consequential amendments

      4. 140. Repeals and revocations

      5. 141. Commencement

      6. 142. Extent, saving etc.

      7. 143. Short title

      1. Schedule 1

        Extension of gender-specific prostitution offences

      2. Schedule 2

        Sexual offences to which section 72 applies

      3. Schedule 3

        Sexual offences for purposes of Part 2

      4. Schedule 4

        Procedure for ending notification requirements for abolished homosexual offences

      5. Schedule 5

        Other offences for purposes of Part 2

      6. Schedule 6

        Minor and consequential amendments

      7. Schedule 7

        Repeals and revocations

An Act to make new provision about sexual offences, their prevention and the protection of children from harm from other sexual acts, and for connected purposes.

[20th November 2003]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part 1 Sexual Offences

Rape

1 Rape

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if--

(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,

(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and

(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.



Assault

2 Assault by penetration

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if--

(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of his body or anything else,

(b) the penetration is sexual,

(c) B does not consent to the penetration, and

(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

3 Sexual assault

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if--

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

(b) the touching is sexual,

(c) B does not consent to the touching, and

(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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 sexual activity without consent

4 Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if--

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

(b) the activity is sexual,

(c) B does not consent to engaging in the activity, and

(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the activity caused 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 life.

(5) Unless subsection (4) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable--

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

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



Rape and other offences against children under 13

5 Rape of a child under 13

(1) A person commits an offence if--

(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis, and

(b) the other person is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

6 Assault of a child under 13 by penetration

(1) A person commits an offence if--

(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with a part of his body or anything else,

(b) the penetration is sexual, and

(c) the other person is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

7 Sexual assault of a child under 13

(1) A person commits an offence if--

(a) he intentionally touches another person,

(b) the touching is sexual, and

(c) the other person is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

8 Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity

(1) A person 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) B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section, 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 life.

(3) Unless subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable--

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

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



Child sex offences

9 Sexual activity with a child

(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 section, 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 subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable--

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

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

10 Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

(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 section, 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 subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable--

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

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

11 Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

(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 section 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.

12 Causing a child to watch a sexual act

(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 section 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.

13 Child sex offences committed by children or young persons

(1) A person under 18 commits an offence if he does anything which would be an offence under any of sections 9 to 12 if he were aged 18.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

14 Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence

(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 sections 9 to 13.

(2) A person does not commit an offence under this section 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 person to do, and

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

(3) For the purposes of subsection (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 subsection (1)(b) or the child's participation in it.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

15 Meeting a child following sexual grooming etc.

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

(a) having met or communicated with another person (B) on at least two earlier occasions, he--

(i) intentionally meets B, or

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

(b) at the time, he intends to do anything to or in respect of B, during or after the meeting 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 subsection (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 Part,

(ii) an offence within any of paragraphs 61 to 92 of Schedule 3, or

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

(3) In this section as it applies to Northern Ireland--

(a) subsection (1) has effect with the substitution of "17" for "16" in both places;

(b) subsection (2)(b)(iii) has effect with the substitution of "sub-paragraph (ii) if done in Northern Ireland" for "sub-paragraph (i) if done in England and Wales".

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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.



Abuse of position of trust

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16 Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity with a child

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

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

(b) the touching is sexual,

(c) A is in a position of trust in relation to B,

(d) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(e) either--

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13.

(2) This subsection applies where A--

(a) is in a position of trust in relation to B by virtue of circumstances within section 21(2), (3), (4) or (5), and

(b) is not in such a position of trust by virtue of other circumstances.

(3) Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person was under 18, the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed that that person was 18 or over unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

(4) Where in proceedings for an offence under this section--

(a) it is proved that the defendant was in a position of trust in relation to the other person by virtue of circumstances within section 21(2), (3), (4) or (5), and

(b) it is not proved that he was in such a position of trust by virtue of other circumstances,

it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he was in such a position of trust unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know of those circumstances.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

17 Abuse of position of trust: causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

(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,

(c) A is in a position of trust in relation to B,

(d) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(e) either--

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13.

(2) This subsection applies where A--

(a) is in a position of trust in relation to B by virtue of circumstances within section 21(2), (3), (4) or (5), and

(b) is not in such a position of trust by virtue of other circumstances.

(3) Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person was under 18, the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed that that person was 18 or over unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

(4) Where in proceedings for an offence under this section--

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