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Causing A Person To Engage In Sexual Activity Without Consent

The Legislation

Section 4 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines the above offence as:

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally causes another person (B) to engage in an activity,
(b) the activity is sexual,
(c) B does not consent to engaging in the activity, and
(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

Want To Know More About The Offence?

The offence was created, in part, to establish an offence equivalent to rape that could be committed by a woman.

The offence can be committed by words alone and covers situations such as a victim being forced:

to carry out a sexual act involving their own person, such as masturbation,
to engage in sexual activity with a third party, who may be willing or not, or
to engage in sexual activity with the offender e.g. woman forces a man to penetrate her.
The issue in relation to whether the activity was sexual, as with the section 2 offence of assault by penetration , will be for the jury to decide, having heard all the facts of the case.

Latest News

Sexual Offences Arrests | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors

It has recently been reported that nineteen men have been arrested for alleged offences involving rape and sexual assault committed over a period of twenty years. Following their interviews, they have all been released on bail pending further police enquiries....

The Court Procedure

The offence of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent is an either way offence which can be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.

However, if penetration has occurred, the matter can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

A number of matters will be taken into account when sentencing an individual convicted of this offence such as:

  • the nature of the sexual activity
  • the offender’s culpability.

Further details in relation to sentencing guidelines for sexual offences can be found here .

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you are aware of an allegation being made.

Crucially, it is always important to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station, whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest.


Hamraj Kang
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
0121 449 9888 | 07989 521210


34 St Paul's Square,
Birmingham, B3 1QZ

0121 449 9888


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Mayfair, London, W1J 8AJ

020 7936 6396


76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH

0161 817 5020