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Sexual Assault Archives

What is Sexual Exploitation?

Although the age of consent in Canada is 16, in some cases you can still be convicted of an offence for engaging in sexual activity with someone over the age of 16 but under the age of 18. If you are in a position of trust or authority towards a young person, or the young person is in a relationship of dependency with you, or exploitative of the young person, you could be convicted of the offence of sexual exploitation.

The Defence of Consent in Sexual Assault Cases

One of the most common defences to an allegation of sexual assault is that the complainant consented to the sexual activity. It must be remembered that you are presumed innocent and the prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that in order for there to be a conviction for sexual assault, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no consent.

The "I didn't do it" Defence to Sexual Assault

It can be devastating to be accused of sexual assault when you didn't do it, whether the allegation comes from an acquittance, a stranger or a family member. Although you are presumed innocent and the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it is often best to approach the case from the perspective of proving your innocence. That means working with your lawyer to both discredit the allegations and demonstrate through witnesses and other evidence why you could not have committed the offence. A number of areas that may prove fruitful at trial include:

DEFENDING AGAINST A SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE

Being accused of sexual assault can seem like a nightmare. High profile individuals seem to be tried and convicted in the court of public opinion on an almost daily basis. However, if you are arrested and charged you will still have the benefits of all of the protections that our criminal justice system affords. You are presumed innocent in the eyes of the Court. The prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That can only be done after a full trial in which all witnesses called by the prosecutor are cross-examined and the defence has an opportunity to call any witnesses that it wants.

What is Canada's Sexual Offender Registry

SOIRA, or the Sexual Offender Information Registry Act [LINK #1], came into effect in 2004 and requires accused persons convicted of one of the listed sex-related criminal offences to be registered in a sexual offender database. The judge sentencing the accused has no discretion, they must place the accused on the registry.

Liberals introduce new bill with amendments for sexual assault offences

On June 6th, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-51 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act with the aim of amend, remove or repeal passages and provisions that have been ruled unconstitutional or that raise risks with regard to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It went further than this, however, and also introduced some new legislation for the prosecution of sexual assault offences in Canada.

Timely Legal Advice in Sexual Assault Investigations is Imperative

If you are being investigated or under suspicion for sexual assault (or any other criminal charge) - read this blog. This article will examine a sexual assault investigation and how you, the suspect can protect your rights and freedoms.

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.

Sexual Assault: Too drunk to consent to sex?

Two people meet at a party. The drinks are flowing. They are both buzzing and their inhibitions are lowered. Sex occurs that night but the next morning one of the two says she didn't consent. The police become involved and show up the other person's house to arrest him for sexual assault. He is in disbelief. He thought it was consensual.

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Sexual Assault Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog