Using a postal service to treat a person under the age of 16 is an offense under section 471.25(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You were at least 18 years old
- You have had an item transported by a postal or similar service to another person (“the recipient”)
- You intended by doing so to facilitate the recipient’s obtaining sexual activity with you, and
- The recipient was under the age of 16 or you believe was under that age.
To procure is to encourage, entice, recruit or induce, whether by threats, promises or otherwise
“Sexual activity” includes sexual intercourse, sexual touching and other acts of a sexual nature.
You are not guilty of the offense if you establish in court on a balance of probabilities that you believed the recipient was at least 16 years of age.
For the purpose of establishing your belief as to the recipient’s age, any representation made to you that he or she was below, above or equal to a certain age is evidence that you believed he or she was. age depicted, unless proven otherwise.
When determining your belief about age, the court may consider a range of issues, including:
- The recipient’s appearance
- Any medical advice or other scientific advice
- Any document that is or appears to be an official or medical record from outside Australia, and
- Any document that appears to be a copy of such a record.
It doesn’t matter that the recipient is a fictitious person posing as a real person.
You can be found guilty even if it was impossible for the sexual activity to take place.
You are not guilty if you attempted to deliver the item to the recipient without success.