FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND INVITATION TO SEXUAL TOUCHING CHARGES.

Donich Law is a criminal, civil and regulatory law firm based out of Toronto. We have devoted a significant portion of our practice to defending those charged with sexual offences, including sexual offences involving minors. Donich Law has experience running complicated sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching trials in jurisdictions across Ontario.

Sexual offences involving children are prosecuted aggressively across Ontario. Those who are convicted often face significant periods of incarceration as well as ancillary orders that place limits on the offender’s life once they are released from prison. Offenders are often prohibited from attending public places where kids are including public pools, community centres or schools for years after their release. As a result of the serious implications that follow a conviction for invitation to sexual touching, it is important to have experienced counsel to defend you.

There is no statute of limitations on sexual offences which means charges can be laid against an accused at any point after the alleged incident occurs. It is common for individuals who were sexually abused as children to take years of even decades to report the incidents to law enforcement. Donich Law has experience defending historical sexual abuse cases and regularly obtain favourable results for our clients.

In 2019, the Firm represented a client charged with one count of invitation to sexual touching and one count of sexual interference in R. v. A.E. [2019]. The accused was arrested after allegations of historical sexual abuse were made by a family member. The allegations dates, back to 1985 when both individuals were children. After litigating the matter for more than one year, the Firm was able to present evidence to show that the complainant had fabricated the allegations in an attempt to secure family inheritance money.

In 2018, the Firm represented an accused charged with sexual interference, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching in R. v. D.D. [2018]. The accused was arrested after allegations of historical sexual abuse were reported to law enforcement. The accused was a youth at the time of the alleged sexual abuse and was tried in youth court. The accused was ultimately acquitted at trial.

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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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?
What Does the Crown Need to Secure a Conviction?
What are the Penalities for Invitation to Sexual Touching?
How to Defend Against Invitation to Sexual Touching Charges?
Can Consent be Relied on as a Valid Defence?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
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 Invitation to Sexual Touching?

Invitation to sexual touching is an offence under Section 152 of the Criminal Code. The offence states that an individual is guilty of invitation to sexual touching if, for a sexual purpose, they invite, counsel or incite an individual that is under the age of 16 to touch, whether directly or indirectly, the body of any person.

The body that the accused invites, counsels or incites an individual under the age of 16 to touch can be that of the accused, the child under 16 or a third party. It is important to note that this offence includes any touching done with a part of one’s body or through the use of an object.

Invitation to sexual touching is not limited to physical or face-to-face interactions. The offence includes invitations made by communicating through text, phone or social media platforms as well. Individuals can also be charged with this offence even if no actual physical or sexual activity occurs.

According to section 150.1 of the Criminal Code, no individual aged twelve or thirteen will not be tried for the offence of invitation to sexual touching unless they hold a position of trust or authority over the complainant or is in an exploitative or dependant relationship with the complainant.

What Does the Crown Need to Secure a Conviction?

In order for the Crown to convict an accused of invitation to sexual touching, the following four elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused requested or guided the complainant to touch the body of the accused, a third party or themselves;
  2. The accused had knowledge that the complainant was under the age of 16, or was reckless or wilfully blind concerning their actual age;
  3. The accused had knowledge that the communication would be recognized by the complainant as inviting, counselling, or inciting the conduct that formed the subject matter of the offence or that there was a risk that the communication might be regarded in such a way; and
  4. The communication was made for a sexual purpose

What are the Penalties for Invitation to Sexual Touching?

Invitation to Sexual Touching is a hybrid offence which gives the prosecutor the discretion to proceed with either a summary conviction offence or an indictable offence. The severity of the punishment is determined in part with consideration to the seriousness of the accused’s conduct and the harm caused.

Section 152 (a) and (b) of the Criminal Code outline the relevant punishments for Invitation to Sexual Touching. Individuals found guilty of an indictable offence will face a punishment of imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of one year with a maximum of 14 years. Those found guilty of a summary conviction will face imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 90 days with a maximum term of two years less a day.

If a person is convicted of invitation to sexual touching, that individual will have a criminal record that cannot be suspended or pardoned. A conviction will also require the individual to register as a sex offender in accordance with the Sexual Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA). Registering as a sex offender may lead to certain infringements of liberty including but not limited to bans on visiting locations where children are commonly present such as parks and pools.

How to Defend Against Invitation to Sexual Touching Charges?

Allegations of this nature may have very little evidence to support the statements of the complainant. Invitation to sexual touching can be defended by questioning the credibility of the complainant’s accusations and statements. Other common defences include denying that the invitation actually occurred or declaring that it was not for a sexual purpose.

It is important to note that mistake of age is not a defence to a charge under section 152 of the Criminal Code unless the accused took all reasonable steps to determine or verify the age of the complainant.

The best defence against a criminal charge is fact specific. Determining how to defend against a charge of invitation to sexual touching will vary on a case-by-case basis. Given the seriousness of allegations relating to the offence of invitation to sexual touching, it is vital to consult with experienced legal counsel.

Can Consent be Relied on as a Valid Defence?

There are certain limited exceptions regarding the relationship and difference in age between the accused and the complainant that allow for the defence of consent (section 150.1 of the Criminal Code). However, in most circumstances, individuals charged with the offence of Invitation to Sexual Touching involving a complainant that is under the age of sixteen cannot rely on the defence of consent.

Quick Facts

What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?

Invitation to sexual touching occurs when an adult individual encourages, coerces or invites a young person to engage in sexual touching of any kind.

Will I go to Jail for Sexual Interference?

It is very likely that an individual convicted of invitation to sexual touching will be sentenced to a period of incarceration. Sentences for sexual offences involving children have begun to rise in the past decade.

Are Invitation to Sexual Touching Charges Serious?

Yes. Invitation to sexual touching charges are among the most serious outlined in the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty for those convicted of this offence is fourteen years imprisonment, which aside from life, is the longest maximum sentence available in the Code.

What if the Crown has no Evidence?

The only evidence the Crown needs to convict an individual of invitation to sexual touching is a credible and reliable statement from the complainant. In most cases, this is the only evidence available.

What if I did not know the Complainant was a Minor?

An accused who fails to take reasonable steps to ascertain the age of young person before inviting or encouraging sexual activity will be guilty of invitation to sexual touching. An adult cannot be reckless or willfully blind as to whether they are engaging in, encouraging or inviting sexual activity with a minor.

What if the Young Person Consented to the Activity?

An individual under the age of consent is legally incapable of providing consent to engage in sexual activity with an adult. This means that even if the young person appears agreeable, their consent is not valid, and the adult has committed a criminal offence.

What if the Young Person was not Physically Present?

An adult may be guilty of invitation to sexual touching even if the young person was not physically present when the accused invited, coerced or encouraged sexual activity. An accused who invites, coerces or encourages sexual activity with a minor over the internet will also be guilty of invitation to sexual touching.

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