Sexual crimes in Scotland

If you are facing an allegation of a sexual offence, you should not hesitate to contact us immediately. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience defending people accused of a sexual offence.

FAQ Sexual offences

A: The 2009 Act states covers what is considered a sexual offence. This includes:
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault by penetration
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Coercing someone into being present during sexual activity
  • Coercing someone into looking at a sexual image
  • Communicating indecently
  • Sexual exposure
  • Voyeurism
A: Sentencing depends on the crime committed. For example convictions of rape, sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault and sexual coercion can lead to life imprisonment. Read this list here to get the full list of possible penalties.

A senior judge has set out new guidelines into the sentencing for sex crimes in Scotland. The previous guidelines looked at all sexual assault, rape and indecent child images under the same guidelines which have led to some unfavourable incidents of guilty people walking free. 

These new guidelines are based on the 2009 Act, where a new set of sexual offences were created to cover existing common law and statutory offences. 

Why are new sexual crime guidelines being created?

Lady Dorrian, who chairs the Scottish Sentencing Council, said: “This will allow each topic to be given in-depth consideration, and for the first guidelines on sexual offending to be produced more quickly”. Who could argue with that? Sexual crime is a stain on society; victims should know their case will be listened to for the specific crime that they alleged occurred. 

2009 Act: sexual crimes

The 2009 Act rectifies inconsistencies in current law such as; an adult male having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl is an offence but an adult female having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old boy is not an offence.

When is there a lack of consent?

Consent is defined as “free agreement”. which although not defined in the 2009 Act, it does list examples of where free agreement is absent. This list does not cover every scenario as that would be impossible. Therefore, existing case law can be used to assist in proving lack of consent.