R. v. Gould, 2022 ONCJ 187
In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. Gould, the accused pled guilty to three counts of child luring and one count of inviting someone under the age of 16 to touch themselves sexually. The accused was a 24-year-old man who met children on an online video game and proceeded to pursue sexual relationships with them.
In their analysis, the Court found in the statuary that the Criminal Code emphasizes the principles of denunciation and deterrence when considering sexual offences against persons under 18 years of age. In addition, recent changes to the law have imposed a mandatory minimum of one-year incarceration by indictment for child luring.
A Charter application was launched against the mandatory minimum. The Court cited Justice Trotter from R. v. Cowell, 2019 ONCA 972, “’the wide range of conduct embraced by s. 172.1(2)(a) [child luring under 16], including the varied nature of the designated secondary offences, gives rise to situations in which the imposition of the one-year mandatory minimum sentence would be grossly disproportionate.’” [para 10] The offender was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, with a two-year probation order, a DNA order, a SOIRA order, and a s. 161 order.
R. v. Bahamonde, 2022 ONSC 916
In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice case of R. v. Bahamonde, the accused pled guilty to: two counts of criminal harassment, two counts of luring, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of making child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography, one count of threatening bodily harm, one count of threatening bodily harm of person unknown, and two counts of failing to comply with a recognizance. He was also found guilty of one count of voyeurism. The offences involved four identified victims. The accused attempted to contact his victims through applications and asked for nude photos. The accused repeatedly harassed and threatened his victims for these images, distributed child pornography to his victims, and encouraged his underage victims to make child sexual exploitative materials.
During sentencing, the Court considered several aggravating and mitigating factors. The aggravating factors included the age differential, the possession, making, and distribution of child pornography with the purpose of threatening or luring his victims. The mitigating factor is that the offender is a youthful offender with chances of rehabilitation. The Court emphasized the primary sentencing principles of denunciation and deterrence enumerated from Friesen. The offender was sentenced to 7.5 years incarceration to protect the public. In addition, a s. 161 order was entered for 20 years, and a DNA order and a SOIRA order was made.
R. v. Sinnappillai, 2022 ONSC 832
In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice case of R. v. Sinnappillai, the offender was convicted of two counts of child luring. Count one is the offence of section 172.1(1)(a) of child luring under 18 for the purpose of committing an offence under s. 286.1(2) of the Criminal Code. Count two is the offence of section 172.1(1)(b) of child luring under 16 for the purpose of committing an offence under s. 152 of the Code. The offender was caught in a sting operation of Project Raphael. An ad was posted online advertising sexual services. The offender texted the number on the ad, and the officer posing as the advertiser revealed that she was 15. The offender proceeded to arrange a meeting with someone who he believed was 15 to have sexual services. He was arrested on the scene at the hotel they arranged to meet at.
During sentencing, the Court considered the offender’s unique circumstances. He grew up in the midst of the Sri Lankan civil war and applied for refugee status in Canada. As a result of his conviction, his refugee claim was put on hold. He has a wife and children dependant on his work as a mechanic in India. However, as child luring is not a victimless crime, it was still important to protect the public from the offender. The offender was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, followed by one year of probation. In addition, a SOIRA order and a DNA order was entered, along with a s. 161 order and further forfeiture orders for the cellphone and cash seized by police during the arrest.