Council Releases Sentencing Snapshots for Six Sex Offences

Date of Publication
22 May 2019

The Council has released new Sentencing Snapshots for six offences sentenced in the Victorian higher courts (the Supreme and County Courts):

The new Snapshots detail sentencing trends in the five years to 30 June 2018. They present data on the type and length of sentences imposed for the principal offence (the most serious offence in a case). Since March 2011, Snapshots have incorporated changes to sentence or conviction following an appeal.

Findings

The majority of people sentenced for persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16 (93%), rape (91%) and sexual penetration of a child aged under 12 (81%) received a custodial sentence.

The percentage of people receiving a sentence of imprisonment was highest for the most severe sex offences:

  • persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16 (88%)
  • rape (85%)
  • sexual penetration of a child aged under 12 (74%).

Of the six offences, persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16 had the highest median principal imprisonment length (6 years). The median for rape was 5 years and the median for sexual penetration of a child aged under 12 was 4 years.

The median prison sentence for the principal offence of sexual penetration of a child aged 12 to 16 (2 years and 9 months) was substantially lower than the median prison sentence for sexual penetration of a child aged under 12 (4 years).

The average prison sentence was highest in 2017-18 for four of the six offences:

  • rape (6 years and 8 months)
  • sexual penetration of a child aged 12 to 16 (3 years and 3 months)
  • sexual assault (2 years and 2 months)
  • indecent act with a child under 16 (1 year and 11 months).

The new Sentencing Snapshots are available for download from our website.