Sexual assault can be defined as a sex act with an unwilling partner. Sexual assault may occur when a person is persuaded or actually forced to perform non-consensual sex or non-consensual sexual touching. There are several different forms of sexual assault and Canada’s Criminal Code has specific provisions for each. Each sexual assault-related charge has a distinct definition as well as specific penalties if a person is convicted of the offence.
Each and every charge listed below must be taken seriously and dealt with immediately. Your innocence, reputation and freedom are at stake so do not delay in calling the Kruse Law firm if you are faced with any of the following charges. Remain silent and do not talk to the police, media or even friends and family. Your best chance of acquittal is by speaking only to your criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.
Under the Criminal Code section 151, touching any body part of a person under the age of 16 years old for a sexual purpose can be tried as either an indictable or a summary offence. If a person is convicted of an indictable offence, the potential penalties are more severe; the minimum prison term is one year with a maximum term of 10 years. If prosecutors choose to try the case as a summary conviction, the minimum prison term is 90 days up to a maximum term of 18 months.
Invitation to Sexual Touching
Any person who invites or prompts a person under the age of 16 to touch him/her or another person can be charged with invitation to sexual touching. The penalties for being convicted when charged with an indictable offence can range from a minimum imprisonment of one year up to not more than 10 years in prison. If convicted of a summary offence, the penalty ranges from a minimum term of 90 days up to a maximum term of not more than 18 months.
Sexual exploitation is considered to have taken place when any person who is in a position of trust or authority over a youngster, such as a teacher, clergy member or sports coach, engages in sexual activity with a person aged 16 or 17. This charge can be levied against anyone who engages in sexual activity with a person known to have a mental or physical disability as well. In order to prove an allegation of sexual exploitation, the crown must prove that physical contact was expressly for a sexual purpose and that the person did indeed hold a position of trust and authority over the young person or complainant.
Canadian law prohibits siblings, including half-siblings, children, parents and grandparents, from having sexual relations. If a minor under the age of 16 is involved, the minimum prison sentence is 5 years, with a maximum of 14 years.
The Canadian Supreme Court recently ruled that touching an animal in a sexual way is legal, as long as it doesn’t injure the animal or involve penetration. The latter act constitutes bestiality. The penalty for being found guilty of bestiality as an indictable offence is imprisonment for a maximum prison term of ten years.
Under certain circumstances, a person has an expectation of privacy and it is against Canadian law to spy on, or otherwise observe them with or without an electronic device (such as a hidden video camera). Under Criminal Code section 162, a person has the right to privacy when he or she is expected to be unclothed or engaged in sexual activity, or when the recording is secretly made for sexual purposes. The penalty for being found guilty of voyeurism as an indictable offence is imprisonment for up to five years.
Child pornography is defined in section 163.1 of the Criminal Code as possessing, printing, or publishing video or photos of a person under 18 years of age engaged in sexual activity or for a sexual purpose. If tried as an indictable offence and found guilty, a convicted person faces a minimum prison term of one year up to a maximum of 10 years. The minimum prison term upon summary conviction for child pornography is six months and the maximum is two years.
Luring with a Computer
Under Criminal Code section 172.1, it is illegal to use a computer to facilitate illegal sexual activity with a person under 18 years old.
If charged with an indictable offence, a person faces imprisonment for a term of one to 10 years. If found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction, the convicted person faces imprisonment of 90 days to 18 months.
Criminal Code section 173 deals with the related sex crime of performing indecent acts. Exposing yourself, which entails exposing one’s genitals to another person or masturbating in front of another person, can fall under the category of indecent acts. Nudity is prohibited if it offends the public decency or order. Swimming nude or topless is not an indecent act under s.173.
If you are arrested and charged with a sexual assault-related crime such as sexual interference, the invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, incest, bestiality, voyeurism, child pornography, luring with a computer or other indecent acts, your freedom and reputation are at stake.
If you have been charged with any of the above sexual assault-related offences, contact Kruse Law to learn how we can help you. There are many strategies that we can employ in an attempt to have a sexual assault charge dismissed or lessened. We provide our clients with a thorough, confident and persistent criminal defence, exactly what is required to enforce your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for you.