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DEFEND SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES IN BRAMPTON. 416-DEFENCE.

Sexual assault charges are among the most serious charges in Canadian justice system. Not only do they carry severe penalties, but the social stigma attaching to such allegation is particularly great. Over and above the punitive consequences involved with conviction, sexual assault carries with it particular requirements for registration on lists. It is particularly important, then, to consult with counsel experienced in handling sexual assault charges, and to discuss with them all of your options to avoid a record for sexual assault.

Brampton’s Criminal Courthouse is called A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse. It is located at 7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton ON, L6W 4T1. The phone number for the Brampton Criminal Courthouse is (905) 456-4700. A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse as well has office hours, which occur Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To locate information regarding upcoming court appearances, click here. Click  here for services and contact information. Cases for adults and young persons aged 12-17 are heard at A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse in Brampton.

In 2016 in Brampton and Mississauga, 716 sexual assaults were reported by the Peel Regional Police. This number was an increase from the 583 reported sexual assaults in 2015.  455 of these reported sexual assault offences occurred specifically in Brampton, as indicated by the 22nd  and 23rd  Divisions.

Our Firm is particularly experienced with sexual assault charges. In our view, they tend to be very fact-based inquiries, in which lawyers, juries and judges sift through conflicting testimony from the accused, the complainant, and any witnesses.

The Firm also handles a wide range of sexual assault allegations ranging from offences against children to high profile sex offences in Brampton. The Firm is prepared and has defended charges of Sexual Interference, Internet Luring, Sexual Exploitation, Voyeurism, Child Pornography and other similar sex offences in Brampton.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

CP24: Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuit at St. Michael’s in Toronto.

Global News: Historical Sexual Assault Charges and Bill Cosby.

CityNews: Jordan Donich comments to CityNews regarding challenges with Sexual Assault Trials in Toronto.

CityNews: Jordan Donich provides expert commentary to CityNews regarding Sexual Assault Prosecution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Assault?
What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Brampton?
What other Penalties are Associated with a Sexual Assault Conviction in Brampton?
What is a SOIRA Order?
How to Defend Sexual Assault Charges in Brampton?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening

What is Sexual Assault? 

The offence of sexual assault is outlined in section 271 of the Criminal Code. It states that an individual is guilty of sexual assault where they assault another individual and where the assault is of a sexual nature, causing the complainant’s sexual integrity to be violated. In determining whether an assault is sexual in nature, a variety of factors will be considered including but not limited to;

  • The part of the body that was touched
  • The situation in which the assault occurred
  • The nature of the physical contact
  • The words or gestures, if any, that accompanied the physical contact
  • All other circumstances surrounding the physical contact including whether or not threats or force were used
  • The accused’s motive or intent

It is important to note that the most important factor is not which part of the body was touched, but rather whether or not the sexual integrity of the complainant was violated.

In addition to simple sexual assault, the Criminal Code also outlines the offences of sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

Section 272 of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm. It states that an individual is guilty of this offence when an individual commits a sexual assault while they;

  • Carry, use or threaten to use a weapon or imitation weapon
  • Threaten to cause bodily harm to a person other than the complainant
  • Cause bodily harm to the complainant, or
  • Is a party to the offence with any person

Section 273(1) of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of aggravated sexual assault, which is the most serious sexual assault charge an individual can face in Canada. As outlined in the Code, an individual is guilty of aggravated sexual assault when they sexually assault an individual and, in the process, wound, maim, disfigure or endanger the life of the complainant.

What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Brampton?

Sexual assault offences are considered of the most serious offences an individual can be charged with in Canada. Sexual assault charges are prosecuted aggressively by Crowns across Ontario and particularly in Brampton. Sometimes called “no deal Peel”, Crowns in Brampton are often reluctant to offer favourable deals to accused individuals charged with sexual assault offences, and regularly advocate for periods of incarceration for those conviction.

Sexual assault is a hybrid offence, which gives the Crown considerable discretion regarding the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused if they are convicted. In cases involving more minor allegations, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum of two years’ less a day imprisonment. In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment.

Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm is a straight indictable offence. If convicted, an accused person will face a maximum of fourteen years imprisonment. In situations where a restricted or prohibited firearm was used in the commission of the offence, or where any firearm was used and the offence was committed for the benefit of, at the direction or, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for a maximum of fourteen years’ and a mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment for a first offence and seven years for a second or subsequent offence. In any other case where a firearm is used, the accused will be liable to a mandatory minimum of four years’ imprisonment. Finally, if the complainant was under the age of sixteen at the time of the alleged assault, the accused will be liable to a mandatory minimum of five years imprisonment.

Aggravated sexual assault is a straight indictable offence. An individual who is convicted of aggravated sexual assault will face a maximum of life in prison. In situations where a restricted or prohibited firearm is used, or where any other firearm is used and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and a mandatory minimum of five years on the first offence and seven years for a second or subsequent offence. In any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence the accused will be liable to a mandatory minimum of four years’ imprisonment. Finally, if the complainant was under the age of sixteen at the time of the alleged assault, the accused will be liable to a mandatory minimum of five years imprisonment.

If you have been charged with a sexual assault related offence it is important to contact experienced legal counsel right away. Our Firm has experience dealing with a wide variety of sexual assault charges and regularly obtains favourable results for our clients.

What other Penalties are Associated with a Sexual Assault Conviction in Brampton?

In addition to the criminal sanctions that will be imposed on an individual who is convicted of a sexual assault offence in Brampton, other consequences will also result. Individuals who are charged with a sexual assault offence may be terminated from their place of employment. Additionally, those who have been convicted of sexual assault may find it difficult to find employment with such a conviction on their record and will be effectively barred from working with children or vulnerable populations.

In addition to employment consequences, those convicted of sexual assault often find it difficult to travel outside of Canada. Many countries will refuse entry to those with a criminal record, particularly with a sexual assault conviction. The United States regularly refuses entry to Canadian’s with criminal histories.

What is a SOIRA Order?

In Canada, those who have been convicted of a sexually based offence will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registry Act (SOIRA). The Criminal Code outlines a list of designated sexual offences, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault. An individual who is found guilty of one of these three offences will be required to register as a sex offender for a period ten years, twenty years or life. The Court will determine the period.

How to Defend a Sexual Assault Charge in Brampton?

The best defence for any criminal charge will depend on the facts of the case and the allegations being made. Due to the serious nature of sexual assault allegations, Crown attorneys in Brampton and across Ontario prosecute such cases aggressively. As such, it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side as soon as possible.

In Canada, the burden of proof lies with the Crown to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused committed the offence as charged. This means that the defendant is not required to provide any evidence to the Court. If the Crown is unable to prove their case, the accused will go free.

In sexual assault cases, there is often little to no physical evidence. This means that sexual assault trials often become he-said-she-said scenarios with no real evidence to prove who is telling the truth. In these cases, where an accused believes the complainant is lying, a defendant may attack the credibility of the complainant to show the Court that the complainant’s version of events is false.

In other situations, however, where the Crown has evidence to prove that sexual contact occurred, the accused will be required to provide evidence to defend themselves. In cases where there is no dispute regarding the fact that sexual activity occurred, the accused may argue that the complainant consented to the sexual activity, and thus no assault occurred.

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Brampton, our Firm can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system and obtaining a favourable outcome in your case. We have experience defending a variety of sexual assault charges in Brampton and regularly obtain positive results for our clients.

Quick Facts

What Defines Sexual Assault in Canada?

In Canada, a sexual assault is any assault that is sexual in nature where the sexual integrity of the victim is violated. Sexual assault can happen between men and women and between individuals of the same sex. The offence of sexual assault is quite broad an encompasses a wide array of behaviour from touching a stranger’s behind in public to forced sexual intercourse.

How to Defend Sexual Assault Charges?

Sexual assault cases can be difficult to litigate due to the fact that there is often a lack of evidence. In many sexual assault cases, there are no third party witnesses and the only evidence available are the testimony of the complainant and the accused. One common way of defending a sexual assault charge is to attack the credibility of the complainant. Another common defence in sexual assault charges is consent.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is repeated and unwanted communication or contact of a sexual nature. An example of sexual harassment would be if one individual repeatedly made unwanted sexual comments to another individual even after being told to stop.

What is Consent?

Consent, in regard to sexual activity, is when both parties willingly and clearly communicate agreement to engage in a particular sexual act. It is important to note that consent to one sexual act does not equal consent to another sexual act. Further, consent must be constant and on-going. Consent is often the main issue in sexual assault trials.

What is the Punishment for Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is seen as one of the most serious offences a person can be charged with in Canada. Courts prosecute cases of sexual assault aggressively. Individuals who are convicted can be sentenced to considerable periods of incarceration. Further, those who are convicted of sexual assault will be required to register under the Sex Offenders Information Registration Act for a minimum of ten years.

What if there was Prior Sexual Contact?

The fact that there was prior sexual contact between a complainant and an individual accused of sexual assault is generally not relevant. In Canada, consent to sexual activity must be clear and on-going. Just because an individual consented to sexual activity in the past does not mean they have consented to sexual activity in the future.

What is a s.276 Application?

A s. 276 application is an application sometimes made prior to sexual assault trials. The purpose of the application is to ask the judge for permission to introduce evidence of the complainants past sexual history. Canadian law generally prohibits a defendant from introducing evidence about a complainant’s past sexual history unless a judge deems the evidence to be relevant and probative.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623