Judges will be more challenging to grant bail and parole to child sex offenders under tough new anti-paedophile rules that were introduced recently.
The regulations are directed at child sex offenders who conduct offences online and abroad that are outside the purview of State governments, marking the most major revision to Federal child sex statutes in almost 25 years.
The government is also targeting service providers and internet businesses, with enhanced sanctions for IT corporations that “promote” child abuse content or fail to report crimes to the police.
The crackdown coincides with the Federal Government’s revelation of data demonstrating that nearly 50% of all child sex offenders found guilty under Commonwealth law do not get a jail sentence, and the most typical sentence for the remaining 58.7% is only six months.
The new rules would result in harsher punishments for child sex offenders, including mandatory minimum sentences for “worst and repeat” offenders and aggravated offences. The Bill also includes a “presumption of imprisonment” rather than allowing for suspended sentences.
25% of the maximum penalty that might be imposed for the particular offence would be the minimum punishment.
For instance, the maximum sentence for the federal offence of grooming a kid online for sexual behaviour is 15 years, so a judge would have to impose a minimum sentence of approximately four years in prison.
Judges will also be forced to presume in favour of cumulative punishment for multiple offences and will be prohibited from applying a reduced term for an offender’s position in the community if doing so aided them commit the crime.