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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Barry Bennell charging statement

29/11/2016

A CPS spokesperson said: "On 27 September 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from Cheshire Police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse involving a former football coach, Barry Bennell.

"Following a review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, Mr Bennell, 62, has today been charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy under the age of 14.

"The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Bennell will now begin and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Background:

The charges are:

  1. Indecent assault on boy under the age of 14 years
  2. Incite a boy under fourteen years of age to commit an act of gross indecency
  3. Indecent assault on boy under the age of 14 years
  4. Incite a boy under fourteen years of age to commit an act of gross indecency
  5. Indecent assault on boy under the age of 14 years
  6. Indecent assault on boy under the age of 14 years
  7. Indecent assault on boy under the age of 14 years
  8. Assault with intent to commit buggery 

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926