Indecent dealing in the Perth school yard
In this case, Sara (Not her real name) was 14 years old when she took a selfie of herself topless and sent that photo along with others (not revealing photos) to Peter (Not his real name) a 15 years old male at the same school. This all took place late 2018 and Peter was informed that he was under investigation under s321 Criminal Code Indecent Dealings with a child under 16 and over 13. How did this happen you might ask?
Well the photo of Sara topless was eventually seen by a number of fellow students at the school. The circulation of that photo was not by Peter it was in fact a best friend of Sara. When trying to explain the photo to her class mates Sara stated that Peter ha demanded the photo with threats that he would spread a rumour that they had in fact, let’s say, been involved in regular intimate touching
Without Sara’s knowledge, the class mates reported this to one of the teachers at the school and under the mandatory reporting guidelines WA Police Sex Abuse Squad were contacted. Peter as questioned during which time he exercised his right to silence. At the end of his initial encounter with WAPOL he was informed by the Investigating Officer that the investigation of running.
Peter’s mother called me at around 9:00pm the night police arrived at their home to speak to Peter. I spoke to Peter on the telephone advising him of his right to silence and to not say anything when asked. I then spoke to his mother and father on the telephone and informed them of my advice to Peter.
The next day Peter along with his mum and dad come to my office where we had an open and frank account of his association with Sara. There was none – Peter denied all wrongdoing and had in fact for the whole to 2018 tried to avoid Sara.
We immediately commenced negotiations with WAPOL Child Abuse Squad and continued with these negotiations until earlier this year when we were advised that the investigation was at an end and Peter would not be charged.
With the advent of smart phones and access by school age children we are receiving an alarming number of calls from parents where what happened to Peter is happening regularly in school grounds. Our consistent advice to parents is that if police arrive at your door wanting to speak to your child – your child is to say nothing – do not participate in a child interview things can be said which cannot be unsaid. It is also especially important that no-one let alone children share explicit pictures of each other over the internet or by any means – it is illegal.
if you want to know more about the problems and potential legal liability for sexting and sharing those images or if police believe you or one of your children is a person on interest then call our lawyers on 0422656589 or 041118507 today to discuss your concerns and really to legally protect yourself in the event police get involved.