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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Government asks Sentencing Advisory Council to review sentences imposed on child sex offenders

    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Government asks Sentencing Advisory Council to review sentences imposed on child sex offenders

    Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Paul Lucas has asked the independent Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) to review the sentences imposed on offenders convicted of sexual crimes against children.

    Mr Lucas said he had asked for the review as he was concerned about the penalties being imposed for child sex offences.

    “This review by the SAC is about ensuring the harm experienced by the child victim is reflected in the punishment,” he said.

    “I’m also keen to ensure the current penalties meet community expectations.

    “Child sexual abuse is one of the most sickening and heinous crimes a person can commit as it robs the young victim of their innocence and deprives them of the right to his or her sexuality as an adult.

    “Many victims state the pain never goes away.

    “It is hard to imagine any sort of offending that could do more damage to a living person than this.

    “Child sex abuse is absolutely devastating for the victim and something that young person has to live with for the rest of their life.

    “My reference to the SAC is about child sex abuse crimes generally, however I’m particularly concerned about situations where an adult has abused a child over a period of time by maintaining an ongoing sexual relationship with them.

    Mr Lucas said too often people focused on the ‘stranger danger’ aspect of the threat of child abuse and this was important.

    “But the real facts are clear – the overwhelming majority of offenders are family members or someone known to their victim,” he said.

    “Vigilance needs to start at home as research shows that where the victim was under nine years of age, in 83% of cases the offender was a family member or someone the victim knows.

    Mr Lucas said he had asked the Sentencing Advisory Council to provide a report back to Government by February next year.

    The Sentencing Advisory Council is currently consulting with Queenslanders about their views on the introduction of standard non-parole periods for serious violent offences and sexual offences.

    The independent body has been asked to advise the State Government about how standard non-parole periods should work in Queensland, to which offences they should apply and how long they should be for each offence.

    Members of the community and key stakeholders have been asked to provide their input by 22 July to inform the Council’s final recommendations to the State Government.

    Mr Lucas said the government was keen to ensure that sentences reflect community expectations and the harm and devastation experienced by victims.

    “That’s why the government set up the Sentencing Advisory Council in the first place, which includes victims of crime representatives and real people within our communities,” he said.

    Media Contact: Thea Phillips 3227 8425