assault of a child under 13 by penetration

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It is a specific criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to engage in sexual penetration with a child under the age of 13. Consent is irrelevant to determining whether the offence has been committed. A person commits the offence if he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with a part of his body or anything else, where the penetration is sexual, and where the other person is under 13. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment. The victim cannot be convicted as an accessory to this offence, even if the offence takes place with the victim's voluntary assistance, since the offence is designed to protect the victim (R v Tyrrell (1894) 1 QB 710 (CCR). Compare rape of a child under 13; sexual activity with a child.

Subjects: Law.

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