paying for sexual services of a child

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An offence under s 47 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 whereby a person intentionally obtains for himself the sexual services of a person under 18 years of age. Such services may or may not involve penetration. Before obtaining such services, the accused must have made or promised payment either to the child or to a third person. Alternatively he must know that another person has either made or promised such a payment. Payment is defined widely in terms of financial advantage including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the provision of goods or services (including sexual services) gratuitously or at a discount. Provided that the child is over 18 years of age, it is a defence for the offender to show that he reasonably believed the child was aged 18 or over. The offence is triable either way; on conviction on indictment it carries a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.

Subjects: Law.

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