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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

Prosecution of Abbi-Louise Maple and Rachel Marchant: CPS statement


Abbi-Louise Maple and Rachel Marchant appeared at Worthing Magistrates' Court on 22 August charged with outraging public decency.

The Chief Crown Prosecutor, Sarah Jane Gallagher, in consultation with Sussex Police, has subsequently reviewed the case and she has decided that to continue with the case would not be in the public interest.

The case has therefore been discontinued.

For further enquiries or interview requests please contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127.