Under consideration PE2102: Require anyone found guilty of rape or sexual assault to be registered as a sex offender

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to abolish the option of an absolute discharge in cases where the accused is found guilty of rape or sexual assault and introduce a statutory minimum sentence for these offences which includes the convicted person being registered as a sex offender.

Background information

Between 2018 and 2022, an average of three people every year were granted an absolute discharge as a result of receiving a guilty verdict for sexual assault. It should be noted that absolute discharges will be included in the conviction statistics for these crimes, which are already unacceptably low (Rape:48%, sexual assault 57% compared to 88% average conviction rate of all crimes). An even lower number are registered as sex offenders as a result of these convictions. Information on the Scottish Sentencing Council and Scottish Government websites state that an absolute discharge is used in “exceptional circumstances” or when the judge feels the crime that has been committed “does not merit any form of punishment”. Those who truly believe in justice for victims of sexual assault will agree that there is not any circumstance that is exceptional enough to allow a person found guilty of sexual assault to go unpunished, and that sexual assault always merits a form of punishment.

  • Created by Anna-Cristina Seaver
  • Considered from 29 May 2024
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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