FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND SEXUAL INTERFERENCE CHARGES IN BRAMPTON.  416-DEFENCE.

Being charged with a criminal offence can be a scary and unsettling experience for anyone. Many serious consequences may result from a criminal conviction and the negative implications of a criminal record can impact numerous aspects of an individual’s life. Being charged with sexual interference in Peel Region can lead to serious consequences. Our Firm has experience assisting clients who have been charged with sexual interference in Brampton and regularly obtain favourable results.

Section 151 of the Criminal Code states that every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, either directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of another person under the age of sixteen years old has committed the offence of sexual interference. Essentially, the offence of sexual interference is a sexual assault on a minor. The touching must be for a sexual purpose, meaning the accused received some sort of sexual gratification. The touching can be with a part of the accused’s body or with an object. Finally, the accused must have known that the complainant was sixteen or younger at the time of the touching or failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain the real age of the complainant. An accused who is willfully blind or reckless to the complainants age will also be guilty of sexual interference.

Most often, individual’s accused of sexual interference are accused by a member of their family or someone they are closely associated with. It is not relevant whether or not the complainant consented to the sexual contact. In Canada, the age of consent is sixteen, unless the complainant and accused are close in age to one another. This means that an individual under the age of sixteen is legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity with an adult. This is true even where the minor initiates the sexual contact.

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.

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CityNews: Jordan Donich comments to CityNews regarding challenges with Sexual Assault Trials in Toronto on August 9, 2017.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Crown Prove Sexual Interference in Brampton?
How to Defend Sexual Interference Charges in Peel?
What are the Possible Penalties for Sexual Interference in Brampton?
-Federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA)
-Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR)
What Other Consequences may Result from a Sexual Interference Conviction in Brampton?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Children’s Aid Society
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

How Does the Crown Prove Sexual Interference in Brampton?

To prove the offence of Sexual Interference and secure a conviction, the Crown must prove all elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove the offence of sexual interference, the Crown must prove that the accused touched the complainant with either a part of the accused’s body or with an object, and that the touching was for a sexual purpose. The Crown must prove that the touching was intentional and that the accused knew the complainant was under the age of sixteen at the time the touching occurred, or that the accused did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the complainant’s age.

How to Defend Sexual Interference Charges in Brampton

Sexual Interference is a very serious offence and is prosecuted vigorously by the Court’s in Brampton. As a result, it is important to develop the correct strategy in defending the allegations as early on as possible. The best defence to any sexual interference allegation will depend largely on the specific facts of the case.

Some defences commonly used in sexual interference cases include arguing the accused lacked intent, arguing that the accused believed the minor was over the age of consent, and arguing consent in a limited set of circumstances.

Sexual interference is a specific intent offence, meaning the Crown must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused intended to touch the minor for a sexual purpose. In some situations, an accused may be able to argue that they lacked the necessary intent, because they did not intentionally touch the complainant or did not touch the complaint for a sexual purpose. An example of an adult touching a minor’s genitals, but without sexual intent, is a parent bathing their child.

Another common defence to sexual interference in Brampton is arguing that the accused believed the minor was over the age of consent. An accused may argue that they genuinely believed the minor was over the age of consent (sixteen), even after taking reasonable steps to ascertain the correct age of the minor. For example, where a minor took elaborate steps to conceal their age, an accused is likely to be acquitted.

In a limited set of circumstances, an accused may use the defence of consent to defend a sexual interference charge. In situations where the accused person is two years older or less than the complainant, they may argue consent. The Criminal Code states that where a complainant is aged twelve or thirteen and the accused person is less than two years older than the complainant and not in a position of trust or authority, the accused may use the defence of consent.

Our Firm can assist you in developing the best defence based on the facts of your particular case. We have experience obtaining favourable results for our clients charged with sexual interference in Brampton.

What are the Possible Penalties for Sexual Interference in Brampton?

Sexual interference is considered a very serious offence and is prosecuted vigorously in Peel Region. Crowns are often reluctant to make favourable plea deals and tend to prosecute sexual interference cases more harshly. Sexual interference is a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown may elect how they wish to proceed with the matter. The Crown’s election will greatly impact the maximum penalty available to the Court upon conviction.

In less serious cases, the Crown will elect to proceed by summary conviction. In these situations, the accused will be subject to a maximum of eighteen months’ imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine upon conviction. In more serious situations, the Crown will elect to proceed by indictment, and the accused will be subject to a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment.

When determining a just and fair sentence within the appropriate sentencing range, the Court will consider all relevant aggravating and mitigating factors present in the case. Factors commonly relevant to sentencing in Brampton include; the age of the accused, the age of the alleged victim, the background of the accused, the accused’s criminal history, the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence, the effect on the alleged victim and any other factors the Court deems necessary.

Federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA)

In addition to a possible custodial sentence, those convicted of sexual interference will be subjected to a mandatory Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) order. A SOIRA order will require the convicted individual to register as a sex offender for a period of time as prescribed by the Court. Those convicted of Sexual Interference will be required to register under SOIRA for a period of ten years, twenty years, or the remainder of their life depending on the severity of their crimes and their criminal history.

Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR)

Ontario also operates a sex offender registry called the Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR). An individual convicted of sexual interference in Peel Region will be required, on a mandatory basis, to report to their local police department within fifteen days of being released from custody, being convicted if a custodial sentence is not imposed, receiving a conditional or absolute discharge, found not criminally responsible, or is changing his or her address or intends to cease being a resident of Ontario. The accused will be required to register for a period of ten years or life, depending on the nature and severity of the crimes committed and number of convictions involved.

In addition to initially registering with one’s local police department, an individual convicted of sexual interference in Brampton will be required to report to the police annually for the duration of their order (ten years or life). During each annual report, the offender will be required to provide law enforcement with proof of address, date of birth, name and identity and any other information requested by the Court or the police.

What Other Consequences May Result from a Sexual Interference Conviction in Brampton?

In addition to the very serious criminal consequences including possible jail time and a criminal record, there are many additional consequences that may follow. Those charged with sexual interference may be terminated from their place of employment. Individuals convicted of sexual interference often have a difficult time attaining employment and will be barred from working in environments involving children. Additionally, travel may be restricted to those with a criminal history. The United States is particularly strict with whom they allow inside their borders, and routinely ban individual’s with criminal histories. Finally, those convicted of sexual interference will often be stigmatized in the community.

Our Firm can help you develop the best strategy to fight the allegations against you and obtain the best possible results. We can assist you in containing the consequences of the allegations to limit the negative impacts as much as possible.

Quick Facts

What is Sexual Interference?

Sexual interference is essentially a sexual assault on a person under the age of sixteen. In Canada, the age of consent is sixteen. This means an individual who is younger than sixteen cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Any adult who engages in sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen will be guilty of sexual interference even if the minor agreed to the activity.

What is the Punishment for Sexual Interference?

Sexual interference is considered a very serious sex offence in Canada and is prosecuted aggressively. Crown’s almost always advocate for a period of incarceration for those who are convicted. Sentences range from several months to several years. An individual who is convicted of sexual interference will also be required to register as a sex offender on a mandatory basis.

What if the Allegations Happened a Long Time Ago?

It is quite common for victims of sexual abuse to come forward years after the abuse has stopped. There is no time limit on when a victim of sexual assault can report it to the police. An individual can be charged with sexual interference decades after the incident occurred.

How to Defend Sexual Interference Charges?

Due to the serious nature of the offence of sexual interference, these charges can be difficult to defend. It is quite common for cases involving sexual interference to go to trial. The best defence for your case will depend largely on the facts of the case and severity of the allegations.

Will I be put on the Sex Offender Registry?

Yes. Those who are convicted of sexual interference must register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) for a minimum period of ten years, or for life.

What are some Common Bail Conditions?

An individual who is charged with sexual interference will be put on stringent bail conditions until their case has concluded. Common bail conditions imposed on those who have been charged with sexual interference include orders not to contact the complainant, to stay away from any place children are known to frequent, and to reside with a surety.

What if I want to Plead Guilty to Sexual Interference?

An individual who has been charged with sexual interference may want to plead guilty for many reasons. In some cases, depending on the severity of the allegations the Crown will be willing to make a deal. Many times, however, the position the Crown is offering will include a period of incarceration.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623