In 2015 in Canada, there were 4,310 reported incidents of child pornography, which is a 156% increase from the number of reported incidents in 2010. Consequently, the rate of 5 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010 rose to 12 incidents per 100,000 population in 2015. The increasing trend in the number of police reported child pornography incidents is also prevalent in Burlington. In 2010, an Ontario-wide investigation led to two Burlington men being charged with distributing and possessing child pornography. In 2018, a Burlington school teacher was charged with child pornography offences related to the school he taught at.

Being charged with child pornography in Burlington will result in orders restricting contact with children. Burlington is a small community which may also cover child pornography charges in local media, an accused can consider a publication ban to protect certain evidence.

The Burlington Courthouse is located at 2021 Plains Road East in Burlington, Ontario. The Ontario Court of Justice for youths and adults in Burlington can be reached at 905-637-4125. If you are looking for information about your upcoming court appearance in Burlington, click here.

The Firm has defended a number of High Profile Child Pornography allegations where Microsoft, Google and Twitter have sent cyber tips to the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC)  located in the United States, which have ultimately been used as a basis for Production Orders from Rogers Communication and Bell by Toronto, Halton and Peel Police. In the Firm’s R. v. J.A. [2017], Ontario Police ICE Unit received a Cyber Tip from the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) and the FBI, who received a complaint from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), located in the United States. Ultimately the Firm secured a withdrawal of both Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography in Guelph. The Firm also defends a number of offenders caught on the Darknet, including where offenders attempt to use anonymous file sharing software, private networks or Tor Browser to avoid detection, such as its R. v. J.T. [2019].

Click here for more information on new changes to child sex offence sentencing and for more information on other consequences associated with a child pornography conviction. For more details on the laws about reporting child pornography and new changes to sex offence laws in 2021 click on the links above.

For more information on child pornography offences, click here. Our firm also conducts in-house child pornography forensics in Toronto to assist with your relevant defences. For information on our forensics practice, click here.

CBC Radio: International Crime and Cyber Attacks.

Toronto Star: Pornhub and Revenge Porn.

Toronto Star: New Corporate Liability for Child Pornography in Canada.

Toronto Star: Police Power and Social Media Companies.

Global News: Can an airline tell you to stop recording and delete a cellphone video?

Métro Montréal: Avec le temps chaud, il n’y a pas que le mercure qui grimpe: le nombre de cas de voyeurisme aussi.

CityNews: As the temperatures outside get warmer, police say the reported number of cases of voyeurism tend to rise.

VICE News: An Image Site is Victimizing Women and Little Can be Done.

Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Child Pornography Materials Classified?
What is Considered “Explicit Sexual Activity”?
What is a “Dominant Characteristic”?
How is a s “Person Under 18” Interpreted?
How Long Can it Take to Resolve Child Pornography Cases?

Additional Resources

Assaulting a Peace Officer
Child Pornography Forensics
Children’s Aid Society
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Sex Offender Prohibition Orders
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 are Child Pornography Materials Classified?

There are five categories that child pornography may be classified into in Burlington. From most serious to least serious, the categories are:

  1. bestiality or sadism,
  2. penetrative sexual activity occurring between adults and an individual aged zero to seventeen,
  3. non-penetrative sexual activity occurring between adults and an individual aged zero to seventeen,
  4. sexual activity between individuals aged zero to seventeen or solo masturbation by an individual aged zero to seventeen, and
  5. images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity.

Regardless, even the least serious category of child pornography is still a serious offence that will likely contain a prison sentence.

What is Considered “Explicit Sexual Activity”?

“Explicit sexual activity” refers to acts that fall at the extreme end of the sexual activity spectrum. This includes acts which involve intimate sexual activity or nudity that are represented in an unambiguous, graphic way with persons who are, or are depicted, as being aged zero to seventeen. Explicit sexual activity does not include any causal sexual contact, such as hugging, touching or kissing because these are not considered depictions of intimate sexual activity or nudity.

What is a “Dominant Characteristic”?

The term “dominant characteristic” appears in the Criminal Code’s definition of child pornography. The dominant characteristic of an image or video is frequently influenced by the context of the media. For example, a photo in a family photo album of a child swimming nude will be treated differently than the same photo in the context of an album containing other sexual materials. The context will also include whether the video or image was captured secretly. Other factors include whether the subject was posed in a way that would give a sexual connotation to it, and if there are any captions accompanying the media that may give a sexual meaning to it.

How is a “Person Under 18” Interpreted?

“Person under 18” is terminology that appears in the Criminal Code in section 163.1. “Persons” has been interpreted to include even fictional human beings. Recent jurisprudence has stated that it is not always an obvious or easy task to assess the age of a young adult or adolescent person. Nonetheless, judges should not speculate or guess the age of a victim. As well, a judge cannot distinguish between an individual just below, or just over 18. However, a judge may choose to determine an “apparent age” which will be established by the facts of each case. How a file is named cannot aid in determining the “apparent age” of a victim, as file name are often mislabeled and thus do not offer assistance.

How Long Can It Take to Resolve Child Pornography Cases?

Child pornography cases are extremely lengthy and time-consuming cases and often take longer to resolve than other criminal cases. Therefore, it may take several months, and frequently years, to resolve these types of cases. Many factors that contribute to these long time period include pre-trial litigation and numerous pre-trial motions that are frequently filed in child pornography cases. Child pornography often involves advanced digital evidence. This leads to the case taking longer to investigate and prepare on behalf of the Burlington Crown. As well, our team frequently partners with forensic computer analysis in order to properly defend a child pornography case. We also seek to ensure that the Burlington Crown used investigative techniques that were completed with prior judicial authorization, further leading to an increase in the time it takes to resolve these cases.

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