The narrow scope of old anti-pedophilia laws could lead to a former Queensland priest and teacher being spared his conviction for taking nude photos of a schoolboy.
Michael Ambrose Endicott was found guilty last month of three counts of indecently dealing with the student from Brisbane's Villanova College in the 1970s.
The 75-year-old was sentenced to 18 months in jail, to be suspended after six months.
Endicott's barrister Deborah Holliday has argued his conviction should be quashed because at the time of the offences, Queensland law did not consider taking nude photos of a child to be indecent dealing.
It was not until 1989 the Criminal Code Act was expanded to make taking indecent photographs of a child a crime.
Before then, there needed to be indecent touching of the child to constitute an offence, Ms Holliday said.
"In relation to these charges, particularised as taking indecent photographs, they have to fall within the law as it existed at that time," she told the Court of Appeal in Brisbane on Tuesday.
"It only provided for an offence where a person unlawfully and indecently deals with a boy."
Endicott, who was denied bail pending his appeal, is fighting his conviction after a Brisbane District Court jury found he indecently photographed the boy three times.
The victim was first abused on a school hiking trip in 1975 when Endicott asked the nine-year-old to accompany him to a creek area in dense bush, where he photographed the student naked.
Three years later, Endicott abused him in the school tower. Again, the boy was photographed naked.
Years later, when the boy was a teenager, Endicott took him into a change room and told him to strip then took photos of him in the shower.
In sentencing, trial judge Leanne Clare SC labelled his crime "substantial" because he had taken advantage of a power imbalance with his victim.
Endicott is also appealing his sentence.
Australian Associated Press