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QLD Received QP9 - Definition of "Indecent Treatment"?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by AnthonyC, 7 September 2014.

  1. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Active Member

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    Hi, unusual question I know but I have searched and I am unable to find any precedent for this.

    On one ocassion while having a conversation with my Stepdaughter (age 15 1/2) I rubbed the small of her back (she was lying face down).

    On my QP9 (brief) it states that I rubbed her back. This apparently qualifies as "Indecent Treatment of a Child". No other touching was involved or implied.

    As luck would have it, the girl ended up desperately wanting to live with her Father and fed me to the sharks. Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for with the Police. I decided to be absolutely honest with them and give them the whole truth. There was very little to tell, and I was absolutely stunned when they arrested and charged me!

    I don't wish to minimize the wrong or make light of things IF a crime has been committed, but to be honest I really don't understand any of it. Why is this going to the QLD District Court? It would seem that any conviction would have to be based entirely on innuendo as this is something an everyday Parent might do in the normal course of Family Life? (No doubt Step Parents are viewed completely differently, we are there just to shut up and pay the bills and interact with the children as little as possible).

    After nearly 2 years of this nightmare I have woken up and gone "what the hell?". Can I seriously go through this whole Court Process and massive Legal Costs for absent-mindedly rubbing a Child's back? A Child that I was the Parent of for a number of years, and who was in real terms my dependent in the absence of any support from her natural Father?

    What recourse do I have here?

    I would welcome any and all opinions on this.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi AnthonyC,

    I recommend getting yourself a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

    The reason this is going to the district court is because assault (or indecent assault) of a minor is viewed as an indictable (ie. serious) offence.

    Do you know exactly what offence you have been charged with? A section number in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) would be helpful.
     
    AnthonyC likes this.
  3. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Active Member

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    I have a lawyer - an expensive one. I'm afraid to even ring him and ask him anything because it will cost me more.

    I don't have copies of the QP9 (I gave all that to him) but it was "Indecent Treatment of a Child under 16" - which according to the list you gave me should be Code 210 (?)

    What I want to know most of all is this "backrub" charge a real thing? I never heard of anyone getting charged for that, and I can't find anything references to it on the web either. Surely it can't be classified as indecent if there is no "sexual" touching whatsoever?
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi AnthonyC,

    I would suggest speaking with your lawyer or finding one that is less expensive. Either way, this is a serious charge and you should consult proper legal assistance for your particular set of facts and situation.

    Indecent treatment of a minor generally means touching or doing something with a minor that is "indecent", meaning sexually arousing (such as touching private areas, kissing, being actually sexually aroused etc). It should not include mere touching of the back. I suspect your step daughter recounted a different version of events or included more information that caused the police to charge you. As a point of reference, here is a Western Australia sentencing sheet for indecent dealings with minors which should give you some ideas about what facts constitute what type of sentencing. Your facts, as you recounted them, clearly do not fall within this spectrum, however, this is a similar type of charge category from WA.

    This is why I strongly suggest speaking with a lawyer, because you may end up defending a different set of facts. You should also obtain a copy of the evidence against you as soon as possible. Again, a lawyer will be able to help you get this.
     
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  5. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Active Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate your advice.

    I just don't get it. If that's what I'm charged with, that I rubbed her back, how can I get convicted for that? But it says it in black and white on the QP9. Surely if they had anything else they would have charged me with that?

    I've read the doc you posted and can't find any charge that is even remotely similar. Surely this must be at the extreme lower end of the scale?

    And yet my Job, Career, Reputation, etc. etc. are on the line. I have a lot to lose! A Conviction or any sort of Jail Time will lose me my job, which is something I greatly depend on, and seriously affect my ability to get another job, or even start a Relationship in the future. Can I really be branded a Paedophile and placed on a Sex Offenders Register for THIS? I might as well be dead.
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't get too stressed out yet. A charge is merely an allegation. It is not a conviction.

    However, this is a serious charge so I would speak with a lawyer as soon as possible and get them to go through the process of requesting the prosecution's (police) evidence/notes/victim statements.

    Until you have this, there's very little information to do on.
     
  7. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Active Member

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    Yes, my Lawyer has all that. It's been just under 2 years I've been waiting and it hasn't even gone to Court, and I still don't understand why they've tried to force a charge out of it. Can they really convict someone based almost entirely on innuendo and not evidence?
     
  8. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi AnthonyC,

    If your lawyer has the report, have you taken a look at it? Police do not usually charge people unless they believe they have enough evidence to make out the offence.

    Under s 210 of the Criminal Code (Qld), the legal elements for the offence are:
    - Unlawfully;
    - Indecently;
    - Dealing with a child under 16

    or wilfully exposing a child under 16 to an indecent act, film or other indecent matter.

    I would suggest speaking with your lawyer and asking the lawyer to explain the evidence against you. The laws of evidence is complex. Generally, no, a case cannot be built upon innuendo. However, statements and circumstantial evidence can be admitted as part of the evidence against you. Again, I suspect there is more information/evidence against you in the file that may or may not be true but nevertheless, form part of the prosecution's case.

    Police may take a long time to process a charge, given their limited resources and other matters and time for gathering further evidence and investigation. Two years is not uncommon for gathering up a case. Has the police initiated proceedings in the District Court yet? Have you been notified about a date of appearance or hearing date.
     
  9. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Active Member

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    No, I'm still waiting for it to proceed, which is why this all seems ridiculous. I don't see what possible "evidence" there could be for this backrubbing charge. Surely if no "indecent" touching is involved they must be expecting to sway a Jury with innuendo or questions as to the supposed motive. I've never heard of anyone being convicted for this. It seems like an act of desperation or grasping at straws on the part of the prosecution. If the Police have such limited resources why needlessly make a case out of nothing then?
     
  10. Junior

    Junior Well-Known Member

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    I feel for you AnthonyC...I was charge of Indecent Dealing lineal descendent. I pleaded not guilty, was found not guilty and was discharged with no conviction.

    It seems your solicitor is trying very hard to negotiate with the police prosecutor to drop the charges to avoid further indictment in the District Court of Queensland.
     

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