Grooming Offences

Queensland passed grooming laws in 2011.  Under section 218A of the Criminal Code (Qld) it is an offence to "engage in any conduct" in relation to a person under 16 years of age with intent to have the person engage in a sexual act or expose the person to indecent matter.

The maximum penalty is 5 years' imprisonment, unless the complainant was under 12 years old, in which case the maximum penalty is 10 years' imprisonment.

Since the offence was introduced, there has been a significant increase in the willingness of police to charge persons with this offence, whether alone or in conjunction with other charges.  It is often utilised where there has been online contact between an accused person and the complainant.