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Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Sexual Interference Struck Down

A recent Superior Court decision in Ottawa (in a case conducted by Bayne Sellar Boxall partner Mark Ertel) is a good example of how the analysis of mandatory minimum sentences plays out in Court [R. v. Laviolette, 2016 ONSC 782]. In that case, the offender was found guilty of touching a 15 year old girl for a sexual purpose. Section 151 of the Criminal Code prohibits that conduct. It is commonly known as "sexual interference." Sexual interference covers a very wide range of conduct. In some cases sentences traditionally ranged from 0-90 days for less invasive, fleeting touching whereas lengthy penitentiary terms of 5 years and even more were imposed in more serious cases where the conduct was more intrusive and/or happens repeatedly over an extended period of time.

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