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Sexual Offenders will Face Tougher Punishments for Sex Crimes


GachiMuchi
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Written ByShawn Ambrose

 

 

If crimes involving sexual misconduct or assault seem like they’ve been on the rise lately, well, that’s because they have.

The number of reported cases of outrage of modesty has shot up by 24% from 2016 to 2020, as compared to 2011 to 2015.

 

Public backlash against leniency towards students at elite universities who commit sex crimes has compelled the authorities to review the laws in place to deter such acts.

Earlier this year, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said offenders of sex crimes will soon face tougher punishments.

“An offender will not receive a lighter sentence simply because he has higher educational qualifications, or has better prospects in life,” he said at the time.

Now, the legislation has finally been passed.

Sexual Offenders will Face Tougher Punishments for Sex Crimes

Parliament passed a bill yesterday (13 Sep) to toughen penalties for certain sexual offences.

As part of the “Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill”, the penalties for three sexual offences will be increased, namely:

  • Outrage of modesty or molestation
  • Sexual activity carried out in the presence of a minor aged between 14 and 16 or showing them sexual images,
  • Sexual activity carried out in the presence of a minor aged between 16 and 18 or showing them sexual images

Outrage of modesty, previously punishable by up to two years in prison, will carry a penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment now.

The maximum jail terms for the other two offences will also be increased from one to two years.

Expanding Scope of Other Sexual Offences

The new bill includes another amendment to the penal code, which will expand the scope of certain offences and defences.

One such offence is deceiving a victim into giving sexual consent by lying about the use of any sexually protective measure or being infected with any sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The offence will now cover deception about the risk of the victim contracting an STD too, such as lying about whether one’s STD is transmissible through sexual activity.

Clarifying Terms Related to Child Abuse Material & Necrophilia 

Under the new bill, terms relating to “child abuse material” and “abusive material” will also be clarified.

At the moment, this is defined as “material depicting minors’ breasts, or their genital or anal regions, in circumstances which reasonable persons would consider offensive”.

Now, the body parts exhibited in this material may be either “exposed or covered”.

Under another clarification, the offence of sexually penetrating a corpse will become gender-neutral.

Previously, the law only prohibited a man from penetrating a corpse’s vagina, anus, or mouth with his penis.

Now, all forms of penetration of a corpse will be punishable.

Modernising Legal Terms

As you may have noticed, some laws sound like they were written a thousand years ago, due to the archaic language.

Well, this bill aims to address that too.

Words like “wantonly” and “malignantly”, for example, will be replaced with ones that are more easily understood, such as “rashly” and “intentionally”.

All these laws will certainly help protect victims in court, ensuring that their abusers are properly dealt with.

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