The Criminal Code of Canada defines sexual assault as unwanted sexual touch, such as grabbing, fondling, kissing, oral sex, or sexual intercourse. Sexual assault is any form of sexual touching without consent. Consent is defined as an agreement to engage in the sexual activity by both parties through either their words or their actions. Consent cannot be given through silence or passivity.
The maximum punishment for sexual assault is 10 years in jail. If the complainant is under the age of 14, the maximum penalty is 14 years. The range of sentences for sexual assault varies depending on several factors: the act complained about (i.e. an unwanted butt grab is substantially different than full penetrative sexual intercourse); the nature of the relationship; the number of occurrences; the age of the complainant; and the background of the accused. Therefore, it is possible to receive a peace bond for a sexual assault charge, while other charged individuals could be looking at a substantial period in custody.
How Can I Defend My Sexual Assault Charge?
If you are arrested and charged with sexual assault, it is important that you retain experienced criminal defence counsel. You may have important text messages, photographs, or other evidence that you can provide to your defence counsel which may be helpful in your defence. Two common defences to a sexual assault charge are (a) that the complainant consented to the sexual touching, or (b) after taking reasonable steps, you honestly believed the complainant was consenting.
The criminal defence lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have many years of experiences defending people charged with sexual assault across Ontario, such as Toronto, Brampton, Milton, Guelph, Kitchener, and London. If you or someone you know had been charged with sexual assault, please give us a call at 416-613-0416.