Child sex offenders in NSW face life imprisonment under tougher new laws.
Previously, the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 was 25 years — but last night, NSW Parliament passed legislation increasing the maximum sentence to life.
“These are the worst crimes against the most vulnerable in our community, our children, our young people and too often sentences handed down don’t align with community expectation,” NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said earlier this year of the amendment.
AAP reports other child sex offences have also been included in the Standard Non-Parole Period scheme, which provides judiciary guidance with sentencing.
“(I)t sends a very clear message that the sentences that should guide judges when they are making decisions, are longer sentences,” Upton told ABC News.
“That’s responding to community expectation, that people who violate children, our most vulnerable members of our community should be punished and punished harshly.”
The President of Adults Suriviving Child Abuse welcomes the news laws.
“For too long the crime of child sexual abuse has been minimised, both in public perception and in criminal justice responses,” Dr Cathy Kezelman told Mamamia.
“Custodial sentences for convicted sex offenders need to reflect the seriousness of the crime and the harm it reaps on victims, their families and our communities. Many victims have a life sentence, especially when they are unable to access and afford the help they need to recover, as sadly is often the case.”