I have recently seen a grandma kissing the crotch of a girl of age 5-6 through panties in a public place. She was holding the girl in hands. Is this illegal? Is it legal only for women to do?
Is this illegal?
- YES, NO, MAYBE Context is everything, and it depends on whether this was just playful (for want of a much better word) or sexual touching.
Assuming that the "grandma" is actually her grandmother, the likely offence - if there is one at all - would be sexual activity with a child family member contrary to s.25 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:
- A person (A) [i.e. grandma] commits an offence if —
(a) [s]he intentionally touches another person (B) [i.e. the child],
(b) the touching is sexual,
(c) the relation of A to B is within section 27 [which includes grandparents],
(ii) B is under 13.
Touching is defined at s.79(8):
(8) Touching includes touching —
(a) with any part of the body,
(c) through anything [e.g. panties]
Sexual is defined at s.78 as:
penetration, touching or any other activity is sexual if a reasonable person would consider that —
(a) whatever its circumstances or any person’s purpose in relation to it, it is because of its nature sexual, or
(b) because of its nature it may be sexual and because of its circumstances or the purpose of any person in relation to it (or both) it is sexual.
A key point to prove is whether s.25(1)(b) is met or not, so again: context is everything.
Is it legal only for women to do?
- NO - Both males and females (over the age of criminal responsibility of 10) can commit any sexual offence apart from rape which is purely male-specific for anatomical reasons.