In Canada, there are several sexual offences set out in the Criminal Code of Canada. The elements to each offence may differ and the potential sentence upon conviction varies. Among some of these sexual offences, the complainant’s consent to the sexual activity cannot be used as a defence.
Sexual Interference: It is an offence to have sexual contact with a person under 16 years of age. Even if the sexual act was consensual, you cannot rely on consent as a defence if you are within 5 years of age of each other when the complainant is older than 14 (i.e. a 15 year old and a 19 year old), or if you are within 2 years of each other when the complainant is between the ages of 12 and 13 (i.e. a 13 year old and a 14 year old). A conviction can carry a prison term up to 14 years.
Invitation to Sexual Touching: If someone is under 16 years old, it is illegal to encourage them, directly or indirectly, to touch another person’s body for a sexual purpose. The same age defence applies to this offence. This also can lead to a prison term up to 14 years.
Sexual Exploitation: If you are in a position of trust or authority towards a person under 18 or if the young person is dependent on you, it is illegal to encourage or engage in sexual contact. The Ontario Court of Appeal has broadly defined a position of trust. This also can lead to a prison term up to 14 years.
Luring: Child luring is the internet solicitation of minors, which prohibits the use of a computer or other form of telecommunications (i.e. text messages) to communicate with someone under the age of 18 for the purpose of facilitating the commission of one of the listed sexual offences. These offences include sexual assault, sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching, etc. This offence carries a 14-year maximum sentence.
Voyeurism: It is illegal to secretly observe another person using electronic or mechanical devices when someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or to make clandestine recordings in a situation where a person is reasonably expected to be nude (i.e. a bathroom, bedroom, or changing room) or to engage in sexual activity.
The criminal defence lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have many years of experiences defending people charged with all types of sexual offences across Ontario, such as Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, Bradford, Barrie, Collingwood, and Bracebridge. If you or someone you know had been charged with sexual assault, please give us a call at 416-613-0416.