FAQs about historical sexual
Over the last five years in the UK, there has been a rise in the reports of what are known as historical
And while many people are familiar with celebrity cases, there have been many jumps in reports from
everyday citizens too. However, if you are on the receiving end of an accusation relating to a historical
sexual offence, then you need to consider the seriousness of this and seek out the advice of a sexual
offence solicitor as soon as possible.
In this article, a sexual offence solicitor will answer 5 common questions about historical sexual
accusations, so you can get a better idea of what may be involved in dealing with this in your own
What is a historical sexual offence?
A historical sexual offence is any kind of sex crime that took place at a previous point in time; this
could have happened many decades ago or in the more recent past, such as the last 18 months. This
offence encompasses all manner of sexual offences, such as rape, sexual contact or indecent images.
If you are accused of a historical sexual offence, your first step should be to contact a sexual offence
solicitor to start building your case.
How are historical offences investigated?
As you can imagine, it is often harder to investigate historical sexual offences, so the police and
other agencies will corroborate a complainant's account and look for evidence; they may even
look for records from schools or hospitals. Any sexual offence solicitor defending you will perform
a similar role, looking for any evidence that you did not actually perform the act you are accused
Are the penalties different for historical offences?
Yes, they are. If you were accused of rape in 2022, the penalties would be different from a rape
accusation from the 1970s. Historical sexual offences are punish