Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 67


Sexual Offences (Scotland)Act 1976

1976 CHAPTER 67

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to sexual offences in Scotland.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Procuring.

1 Procuring.

1. Any person who procures or attempts to procure—

a ) any woman under 21 years of age or girl to have unlawful sexual intercourse with any other person or persons in any part of the world, or
b ) any woman or girl to become a common prostitute in any part of the world, or
c ) any woman or girl to leave the United Kingdom, with intent that she may become an inmate of or frequent a brothel elsewhere, or
d ) any woman or girl to leave her usual place of abode in the United Kingdom, with intent that she may, for the purposes of prostitution, become an inmate of or frequent a brothel in any part of the world

shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

S-2 Procuring by threats, etc.

2 Procuring by threats, etc.

(1) Any person who—

(a ) by threats or intimidation procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl to have any unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world, or

(b ) by false pretences or false representations procures any woman or girl to have any unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world, or

(c ) applies or administers to, or causes to be taken by, any woman or girl any drug, matter or thing, with intent to stupefy or overpower so as thereby to enable any person to have unlawful sexual intercourse with such woman or girl,

shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(2) A man who induces a married woman to permit him to have sexual intercourse with her by impersonating her husband shall be deemed to be guilty of rape.

S-3 Intercourse with girl under 13.

3 Intercourse with girl under 13.

(1) Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of 13 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

(2) Any person who attempts to have unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of 13 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

S-4 Intercourse with girl between 13 and 16.

4 Intercourse with girl between 13 and 16.

(1) Any person who has, or attempts to have, unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl of or above the age of 13 years and under the age of 16 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months:

Provided that no prosecution on indictment shall be commenced for an offence under this subsection more than one year after the commission of the offence.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (1) above that the person so charged—

(a ) had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was his wife; or

(b ) being a man under the age of 24 years who had not previously been charged with a like offence, had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or above the age of 16 years.

In this subsection, ‘a like offence’ means an offence under—

(i) subsection (1) above; or

(ii) section 5 or 6 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the provisions replaced for Scotland by subsection (1) above and section 10(1) of this Act); or

(iii) section 6 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (the provision for England and Wales corresponding to subsection (1) above), or with an attempt to commit such an offence; or

(iv) section 10(1) of this Act.

S-5 Indecent behaviour towards girl between 12 and 16.

5 Indecent behaviour towards girl between 12 and 16.

5. Any person who uses towards a girl of or above the age of 12 years and under the age of 16 years any lewd, indecent or libidinous practice or behaviour which, if used towards a girl under the age of 12 years, would have constituted an offence at common law shall, whether the girl consented to such practice or behaviour or not, be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

S-6 Defence to charge of indecent assault.

6 Defence to charge of indecent assault.

6. It shall be a defence to a charge of indecent assault committed against a girl under the age of 16 years that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was his wife.

S-7 Gross indecency between males.

7 Gross indecency between males.

7. Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

S-8 Abduction of girl under 18 with intent to have sexual intercourse.

8 Abduction of girl under 18 with intent to have sexual intercourse.

8. Any person who, with intent that any unmarried girl under the age of 18 years should have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man, takes or causes to be taken such girl out of the possession and against the will of her father or mother, or any other person having the lawful care or charge of her, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months:

Provided that it shall be a defence to any charge under this section that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or above the age of 18 years.

S-9 Unlawful detention with intent to have sexual intercourse.

9 Unlawful detention with intent to have sexual intercourse.

(1) Any person who detains any woman or girl against her will—

(a ) in or upon any premises with intent that she may have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man, or

(b ) in any brothel,

shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(2) Where a woman or girl is in or upon any premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse, or is in any brothel, a person shall be deemed to detain such woman or girl in or upon such premises or in such brothel if, with intent to compel or induce her to remain in or upon such premises or in such brothel, such person withholds from such woman or girl any wearing apparel or other property belonging to her or, where wearing apparel has been lent or otherwise supplied to such woman or girl by or by the direction of such person, such person threatens such woman or girl with legal proceedings if she takes away with her the wearing apparel so lent or supplied.

(3) No legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal, shall be taken against any such woman or girl for taking away or being found in possession of any such wearing apparel as was necessary to enable her to leave such premises or brothel.

S-10 Permitting girl to use premises for intercourse.

10 Permitting girl to use premises for intercourse.

(1) Any person who, being the owner or occupier of any premises, or having, or acting or assisting in, the management or control of any premises, induces or knowingly suffers any girl of such age as is mentioned in this subsection to resort to or be in or upon such premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man—

(a ) if such girl is under the age of 13 years, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life; and

(b ) if such girl is of or above the age of 13 years and under the age of 16 years, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge under this section that the person so charged, being a man under the age of 24 years who had not previously been charged with a like offence, had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or above the age of 16 years.

In this subsection, ‘a like offence’ means an offence under—

(i) subsection (1) above; or

(ii) section 5 or 6 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the provisions replaced for Scotland by section 4(1) of this Act and subsection (1) above); or

(iii) section 4(1) of this Act.

S-11 Causing or encouraging seduction, prostitution, etc., of girl under 16.

11 Causing or encouraging seduction, prostitution, etc., of girl under 16.

(1) If any person having the custody, charge or care of a girl under the age of 16 years causes or encourages the...

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