FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND SEXUAL INTERFERENCE CHARGES IN GUELPH.  1-866-DEFENCE.

Being accused of a sexual offence can be a distressing and confusing experience, especially for those who have been wrongfully accused. Donich Law has experience defending first time offenders as well as those who have been wrongfully accused of sexual interference offences. We diligently advocate for our client’s rights to ensure they receive the best outcome for their set of circumstances.

We have devoted a portion of our practice to defending those charged with sexual interference including those accused of historical sexual offences. It is not at all uncommon for victims of sexual assault to take years or even decades to report allegations. In Canada, there is no limitation period on sexual offences and so an offender may be charged with sexual interference even decades after the incident(s) occurred.

In cases involving sexual offences against children, the Children’s Aid Society almost always becomes involved. In many cases, the Children’s Aid Society will conduct an investigation of their own and any evidence they gather may be turned over to the police to be used against an accused in a criminal prosecution. As a result of this, it is important to contact experienced legal counsel at the outset of any Children’s Aid investigation.

In 2018, the Firm defended an individual charged with eleven counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching in R. v. C.Z. [2018]. In that case, the Firm was able to prove that the allegations against the accused had been fabricated by the complainant and the allegations were withdrawn at the request of the Crown.

In 2015, the Firm represented an individual charged with sexual assault in R. v. K.C. [2015]. In that case, two different complainants had made allegations against the accused. The Firm was able to prove, after some investigation, that both complainants had invented their stories and all charges against the accused were dropped.

In R. v. A.E. [2010], the Firm defended a client charged with sexual interference, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred as far back as 1985. After litigating the matter for more than a year the Firm was able to prove that the allegations had been fabricated by a family member trying to seek revenge against the accused.

If you have been accused of sexual interference in Guelph, we can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system and developing a strategy for your case. We can ensure that all of your rights are protected throughout the court process and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your set of circumstances.

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.

Global News: Riding solo: What age should kids take transit alone?

Global News Radio: Justin Bieber facing allegations of Sexual Assault.

AM900 CHML: Children’s Aid Society has too much power.

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

CityNews: Jordan Donich provides expert commentary to CityNews regarding Sexual Assault Prosecution on June 15, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Interference?
What is the Age of Consent in Canada?
What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?
What are Common Defences to Sexual Interference in Guelph?
What are the Penalties for Those Convicted of Sexual Interference in Guelph?
What are the Penalties for Those Convicted of Invitation to Sexual Touching in Guelph?

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

What is Sexual Interference?

Section 151 of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of sexual interference. It states that an individual commits the offence of sexual interference when, for a sexual purpose, they touch, either directly or indirectly, with a part of their body or an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of sixteen. The accused must have had knowledge of the minor’s age at the time the sexual activity occurred. However, the accused could not have been reckless or willfully blind regarding the true age of the complainant. In Canada, an individual who has not yet reached the age of consent cannot legally consent to sexual activity. This means that even if the minor has agreed to engage in sexual activity, or has initiated the sexual activity, they are still legally incapable of consenting. As such, any adult who engages in sexual activity with a minor will be guilty of an offence.

What is the Age of Consent in Canada?

The age of consent is the age at which individuals in Canada are legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. The age of consent will only become relevant when one member of a sexual relationship is under the age of majority (eighteen years old) and the other member is over the age of majority.

In Canada, the age of consent is sixteen years old. This means that an individual under the age of sixteen cannot legally consent to sexual activity with an adult. Where the older member of the couple holds a position of trust or authority over the other member of the couple, the age of consent is raised to eighteen years old.

It is important to note that there are also “close in age” exceptions to the age of consent. For example, an individual who is fourteen or fifteen years old may consent to sexual activity with an individual who is up to five years older than them, as long as there is no position of trust or authority involved in the relationship. Those who are twelve or thirteen years old may consent to sexual activity with a person up to two years older than them as long as there is no position of trust or authority involved in the relationship.

What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?

Section 152 of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of invitation to sexual touching. It states that an individual commits this offence when they, for a sexual purpose, incite, invite or counsel an individual under the age of sixteen years to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the body of any person, including the body of the person who so incites, invites or counsels and the body of the individual under the age of sixteen. This means that if an adult invites a person under the age of sixteen to engage in sexual activity, they will be guilty of a criminal offence.

What are Common Defences to Sexual Interference in Guelph?

Sexual interference allegations can be difficult to defend in some cases due to the considerable resources law enforcement and the Crown devote to investigating and prosecuting those suspected of committing sexual offences against children. Generally, there are three arguments that may be used to defend a sexual interference allegation in Guelph. They include; arguing innocence, arguing lack of intent or arguing honest but mistaken belief.

In some cases, those who are charged with sexual interference have been wrongfully accused. Generally, if a complainant is fabricating allegations, the only evidence in the possession of the Crown will be the statements made by the complainant. While a defendant in a criminal trial is under no obligation to present any evidence in their defence, it may be prudent to in these situations. Offering evidence to call the credibility of the complainant into question may helpful in these cases.

In other scenarios, a defendant may argue that they lacked the necessary intent to be guilty of the offence. To prove a charge of sexual interference, the Crown must prove that the accused, for a sexual purpose, touched a part of the body of a person under the age of sixteen. If the accused touched the minor, but not for a sexual purpose, they lack the necessary intent to be guilty of the offence. For example, if a parent was giving their child a bath and touched the child’s genitals, they would not be guilty of sexual interference. This is because there was no sexual purpose to the touching.

Finally, an individual charged with sexual interference may argue that they had an honest but mistaken belief that the complainant was over the age of consent at the time of the sexual activity. To employ this defence, the accused must present evidence to the Court to show that they took reasonable steps to ascertain the true age of the complainant prior to engaging in any sexual activity. The accused must also not have been reckless or willfully blind as to the true age of the complainant.

What are the Penalties for Those Convicted of Sexual Interference in Guelph?

Sexual interference is considered a very serious sexual offence in Canada. As such, it is prosecuted aggressively, and Crown’s often advocate for periods of incarceration for those who are convicted. Sexual interference is considered a hybrid offence. This gives the Crown the ability to determine the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused. In less serious cases the Crown will proceed summarily, leading to lower maximum sentences. In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face more significant penalties.

In cases where the Crown proceeds summarily, an accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face a maximum of ten years in prison. When imposing a sentence on an offender who has been convicted, the Court will weigh the nature and severity of the accused’s actions with the criminal history of the accused and any other aggravating or mitigating factors present in the case.

What are the Penalties for Those Convicted of Invitation to Sexual Touching in Guelph?

Invitation to sexual touching is among the most serious offences an individual can be charged with in Canada. As is the case with all sexual offences involving children, law enforcement and the Crown devote considerable resources to investigating and prosecuting those believed to be engaging in sexual activity with children. Invitation to sexual touching is a hybrid offence. This allows the Crown to make an election that will determine, among other things, the maximum penalty that may be imposed upon conviction.

In cases involving more minor allegations, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. In cases involving more serious allegations, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face a maximum of fourteen years in prison.

If you have been accused of sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching in Guelph, Donich Law can assist you. We have experience defending a wide variety of individuals charged with various sexual offences and routinely attain favourable results for our clients.

Quick Facts

What is Sexual Interference?

An individual is guilty of the offence of sexual interference when they, for a sexual purpose, make contact, either directly or indirectly, with an object or a part of the body, with a person under the age of sixteen. Essentially, any adult who engages in sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen will be guilty of a criminal offence.

What if the Complainant Lied About their Age?

If a complainant lied about their age prior to engaging in sexual activity, the accused may be able to use the defence of honest but mistaken belief. Where the accused had a genuine belief that the complainant was over the age of consent and had taken reasonable steps to ascertain the true age of the complainant, the accused will not be guilty of the offence. The accused however, must not have been reckless or willfully blind regarding the true age of the complainant.

What is the Age of Consent in Canada?

In Canada, the age of consent is sixteen years old. The age of consent is raised to eighteen years old where the older member of the couple if in a position or trust or authority over the minor. An individual who is under the age of consent is legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity with an adult.

What if the Complainant Consented to the Sexual Activity?

If the complainant consented to the sexual activity but was under the age of consent at the time, their consent is vitiated. An individual under the age of consent is not legally capable of consenting. This means that even if a minor agreed to, or even initiated sexual activity with an adult, the adult is still guilty of a criminal offence.

If I am Convicted of Sexual Interference will I be Considered a Sexual Offender?

Yes. Sexual interference is considered a designated sexual offence. This means that everyone who is convicted will be issued a mandatory SOIRA order from the Court upon conviction. A SOIRA order requires an individual to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for a period of ten years, twenty-five years or life.

Will I go to Jail for Sexual Interference?

In many cases, yes. Sexual interference is among the most serious offences an individual can be charged with in Canada. The maximum penalties range from two years less a day in prison to ten years in prison depending on the nature and severity of the allegations.

Will I go to Jail for Invitation to Sexual Touching?

In many cases, yes. Invitation to sexual touching is a very serious offence in Canada. Maximum sentences for the offence range from two years less a day in prison to fourteen years in prison. Crown counsel across Ontario routinely advocate for periods of incarceration for those convicted of invitation to sexual touching.

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