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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

Libyan soldiers guilty of Cambridge rape


The Chief Crown Prosecutor for East of England CPS, Jenny Hopkins, has urged male victims of rape to have the confidence to come forward and report attacks after two Libyan soldiers stationed at a barracks in Cambridgeshire have been convicted of raping a man in Cambridge city centre.

Moktair Ali Saad Mahmoud and Ibrahim Abugtila were convicted at Cambridge Crown Court on 15 May 2015 of rape and aiding and abetting the other to rape. They were each sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.

Ms Hopkins said: "As this case has shown, victims of rape, whether male or female, can have confidence that they will be believed; they will be treated with dignity and respect and supported throughout the progress of their case.

"It takes enormous courage for anyone to report an allegation of rape but we know that male victims can find it particularly difficult - 12% of rapes in England and Wales are estimated to be carried out against men but many choose not to report it. I hope today's verdict might offer some victims the confidence they need to come forward.

"In this case, Mahmoud and Abugtila attacked a complete stranger, targeting him because he was vulnerable through alcohol, took him to a deserted park in the early hours of the morning and then took it in turns to hold him down while the other raped him.

"They were identified through DNA evidence and claimed in their defence that the victim had consented to sex and had made the story up after stealing money from them. The jury has clearly rejected this defence by their verdicts today.

"We applied to the court for special measures for the victim, which were granted, and he gave his evidence by video. Special measures are something that we would discuss with any rape or sexual assault victim before making an application to the court.

"We know that rape has a devastating effect on victims and we would like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case whose evidence has put two vicious men behind bars for many years.

"We are committed to supporting victims of rape and indeed all sexual assaults and to building strong cases which we can bring to court. We would urge all victims of rape, male and female, to have the confidence to come forward and help us bring the perpetrators to justice, as in this case."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.