Published date: Saturday, 1 December 2018
- renaming the offences of ‘indecent assault’ and ‘act of indecency’ as ‘sexual touching’ and ‘sexual act’, ensuring simplified offences and terminology;
- the introduction of a new offence of sexual touching within a special care relationship, which will protect children aged 16 and 17 from inappropriate sexual contact with teachers, health professionals, authorised carers and others who have special care of the child;
- the introduction of a ‘similar age’ defence that may apply when a defendant engages in consensual sexual activity with a peer who is at least 14 years old and the age difference between them is not more than two years; and
- the introduction of a limited ‘sexting’ defence to reduce the risk that children engaging in consensual sexting in certain circumstances will be criminalised for making, possessing and distributing child pornography.