“This important Bill is designed to improve laws in the ACT that deal with areas including sexual offences, protection of vulnerable witnesses in proceedings, property and drug offences and sentencing,” said Mr Corbell.
“The legislation will create two new sexual offences which are sexual intercourse and act of indecency with young person under special care. Young people aged 16-17 are at a much higher risk of being subject to harm when in a relationship with an adult in a position of authority and this risk warrants the creation of these specific offences.
“The new offences will create a non-exhaustive list of „position of authority? relationships including positions such as: teachers, step or foster parent, health professional and sports coaches.
“These new offences will protect young people from unscrupulous adults. By prohibiting sexual relations between 16-17 year olds and adults who are in a position of authority over them a clear boundary is drawn, making it less likely that adults in such positions will abuse their authority.
“Vulnerable members of our community must be protected under law and this legislation is a important addition to the Crimes Act that will give police and the courts more power to protect Canberrans and prosecute those who commit sexual offences against those young people in special care.”
The Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 also includes amendments to:
– Strengthen the Sexual Assault Reform Program which protects vulnerable victims and witnesses when they are giving evidence in sexual and violent offence matters;
– create a new offence for the possession of a tablet press; and
– improve the ability of the courts to take into account an offender?s engagement with court ordered drug and alcohol assessment at time of sentencing.