Maintaining a sexual relationship with a child

The offence of Maintaining a sexual relationship with a child is one of the most serious sexual crimes, and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.  The offence is contained in section 229B of the Queensland Criminal Code and refers to a relationship between an adult and a child where there was more than one unlawful sexual act over a period of time.

Under Queensland law, a child is any person under the age of 16 years.  Any sexual or indecent act involving or directed at a person under 16 years of age is unlawful for the purposes of this provision.

One of the unique aspects of this charge is that the prosecution do not have to particularise or specify the details of the alleged unlawful acts.  This is quite different from the usual position, where the prosecution must outline the evidence relied upon to support each element of a charge.

It is quite common for maintaining charges to be accompanied by other sexual offences such as indecent treatment or rape.

Strong legal representation is a must if you are charged with maintaining an lawful relationship with a child.  It is not uncommon for severe penalties to be imposed for this offence, including imprisonment with actual custody.