Sexual assault offences are among the most serious in Kitchener and all over Canada. At Donich Law, we have devoted a portion of our practice to defending those charged with sexual assault offences. Sexual assault offences can be particularly difficult to defend as law enforcement and the Crown both devote considerable resources to investigating and prosecuting them.

Donich Law has experience defending a wide variety of individuals charged with various sexual assault charges of varying severity. In some cases, we have been able to resolve matters without a criminal record for the accused. Additionally, we have experience defending historical sexual assault cases, with accusations dating as far back as the 1970’s.

In January of 2020, the Firm secured an acquittal for an accused charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement after allegedly assaulting one of his employees at a restaurant he owned in R. v. M.Z. [2020]. Shortly after, the Firm secured another acquittal of a sexual assault charge in R. v. K.H. [2020].

In 2019, the Firm represented the owner of a private hotel in Toronto charged with sexual assault in R. v. T.K. [2019]. Ultimately, the Firm was able to secure a withdrawal. In 2018, the Firm represented an individual charged with sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference for incidents that allegedly occurred over twenty years prior in R. v. D.D. [2018]. The Firm was able to secure and acquittal on all charges.

In 2017, the Firm defended an individual charged with sexual assault and sexual interference after allegations of historical abuse dating back to 1977 were reported to police in R. v. M.M. [2017]. After three years of litigation, the Firm was able to secure the withdrawal of all charges. In 2016, the Firm represented an individual charged with sexual interference and sexual assault after allegedly sexually assaulting his daughter a decade prior in R. v. P.W. [2016].

In 2015, the Firm represented an individual charged with sexual assault in R. v. K.C. [2015]. The Firm was able to secure a withdrawal of the charges after proving that the two complainants had fabricated the allegations. In R. v. R.K. [2014], the Firm secured the withdrawal of a sexual assault allegation against a client who had been wrongfully accused.

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Kitchener, Donich Law can assist you in defending your case. We can develop the best strategy for the allegations being made to ensure the best possible outcome.

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 Radio: Two Lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein are being settled.

Global News: Historical Sexual Assault Charges and Bill Cosby.

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

CityNews: Jordan Donich comments to CityNews regarding challenges with Sexual Assault Trials in Toronto.

CityNews: Jordan Donich provides expert commentary to CityNews regarding Sexual Assault Prosecution.

Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Assault?
How to Beat a Sexual Assault Charge in Kitchener?
What Penalties are Associated with a Sexual Assault Conviction?
How does the Crown Prove a Sexual Assault Charge?
What if you have been Wrongfully Accused of Sexual Assault?

Additional Resources

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 Sexual Assault? 

The definition of sexual assault provided in the Criminal Code is quite broad and encompasses a wide variety of unwanted interactions. Section 271 of the Code states that an individual is guilty of the offence of sexual assault when they commit an assault on another individual and the assault violates the sexual integrity of the complainant. When making the determination as to whether or not an assault was sexual in nature, the following factors will be considered:

  • The circumstances in which the assault occurred
  • The party of the complainant’s body that was touched
  • The motive of the accused
  • The nature of the physical contact between the complainant and accused
  • All other circumstances surrounding the physical contact and whether or not threats or violence were used during the assault

The Criminal Code also outlines other, more aggravating, sexual assault offences including sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

Section 272 of the Code states that an individual is guilty of sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily when they commit a sexual assault while carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon or imitation weapon, while threatening to cause bodily harm to someone other than the complainant, where they cause bodily harm to the complainant or where they are a party to the offence with any person.

Section 273(1) of the Code states that an individual is guilty of the offence of aggravated sexual assault when they sexually assault an individual and in the process of committing the assault maims, wounds, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

Sexual assault offences are very serious in Kitchener and are prosecuted aggressively by the Crowns office. If you have been charged with a sexual assault offence in Kitchener Donich Law can assist you in navigating the justice system and obtaining the best results for your set of allegations.

How to Beat a Sexual Assault Charge in Kitchener?

Sexual assault charges can be difficult to defend due to the often-aggressive way they are prosecuted by Crowns in Kitchener. The best defence for a sexual assault allegation will depend largely on the accusations being made and the evidence in the Crowns possession.

As with any criminal offence, the Crown must prove to the Court that the accused is guilty of the offence they have been accused of committing. The accused is under no obligation to present any evidence to the Court. In situations where the Crown does not possess enough evidence to gain a conviction or has not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused cannot be convicted.

In many sexual assault cases there is little to no real evidence. There are rarely third-party witnesses to the assault and often the only witnesses are the accused and the complainant. In situations where alcohol or drugs are involved, even the parties to the interaction may be unclear about the events. Often, the only evidence available to the Court are the statements and testimony of the accused and the complainant, and in many cases just the complainant. Where the only evidence offered by the Crown are the statements and testimony of the complainant, the defendant may either call the credibility of the complainant into question or offer a convincing reason as to why the complainant may be fabricating the accusations.

If, however, the Crown does have enough evidence to suggest that sexual activity did occur between the accused and complainant, the defence may be required to offer evidence to the Court to dispute the Crown’s case and avoid a conviction. In these cases, the accused may argue that the sexual activity was consensual. The accused must convince the Court that they took reasonable steps to ascertain whether or not the complainant was consenting to the sexual activity and that the consent was ongoing and continuous throughout the sexual interaction.

What Penalties are Associated with a Sexual Assault Conviction?

Sexual assault offences are prosecuted energetically by Crowns, and Courts often sentence those convicted to periods of incarceration. Sexual assault is a dual procedure offence, meaning the Crown’s election will influence the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused if the accused is found guilty. The Crown may choose to elect between proceeding by indictment or proceeding summarily. The Crown will generally elect to proceed by indictment where the allegations are of a serious nature. The Crown will proceed summarily where the allegations are less serious.

Where the Crown proceeds by indictment the accused may be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison. Where the Crown proceeds summarily the accused may be sentenced to a maximum of two years less a day in prison.

How does the Crown Prove a Sexual Assault Charge?

As outlined in the Criminal Code definition of sexual assault, a wide variety of interactions from an unwanted kiss on the cheek to a violent rape are considered sexual assault. To prove an accused is guilty of committing sexual assault, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused made physical contact with the complainant without the complainant’s consent. The Crown must prove that the physical contact violated the sexual integrity of the complainant. The Crown must also prove that the accused had a “guilty mind” when they made the physical contact.

What if I have been Wrongfully Accused of Sexual Assault?

Being wrongfully accused of a crime, especially a sexual offence, can be extremely difficult and stressful. In recent years, being accused of sexual assault may have very serious implications on an individual’s life even where the allegations are untrue. An individual who is wrongfully accused of sexual assault may experience negative consequences in various aspects of their life including their employment status, education and personal lives.

The first thing an individual should do if they have been wrongfully accused of sexual assault is to contact experienced legal counsel immediately. Many individuals may feel as though they do not need the assistance of legal counsel if the allegations are untrue. However, legal counsel can assist you in navigating the complicated legal system and limiting the amount of exposure the allegations receive to minimize the negative impacts as much as possible.

Donich Law has experience defending individuals who have been wrongfully accused of committing sexual assault. In many cases where charges have been laid against an accused, we have been able to negotiate with the Crown and litigate where necessary to prove that the allegations are false.

Quick Facts

What is a SOIRA Order?

SOIRA stands for Sex Offender Information Registration Act. A SOIRA order is an order from the Court requiring an individual convicted of certain sexual offences to register as a sex offender. The Criminal Code provides a list of designated offences, one of which is sexual assault. If an offender is convicted of a designated sexual offence the Court is required, on a mandatory basis, to issue a SOIRA order.

Will I go to Jail for Sexual Assault?

In some cases, yes. Sexual assault is considered a serious criminal offence in Kitchener and all over Ontario. As a result, Crowns devote considerable resources to prosecuting sexual assault cases. Whether or not an offender will be sentenced to a period of incarceration for a sexual assault conviction will depend on the nature and severity of the allegations, the criminal history of the accused and any other factors the Court deems relevant.

Will People know I am a Sex Offender?

The Sex Offender Information Registration list is kept private from the general public. Only law enforcement officials are able to view the list. As a result, regular civilians will not be able to look up an offender’s name on the list. However, the majority of Court proceedings are open the public, so there is a chance a member of the public would find out about the order by attending Court proceedings for the matter.

What if I had Sexual Contact with the Complainant in the Past?

It is generally not relevant whether an accused had sexual contact with the complainant in the past. In Canada, consent to sexual activity must be ongoing, meaning consent in the past, or to a certain sexual act, does not mean consent to a future sexual act. Further, prior sexual history of the complainant is generally not admissible as evidence in most circumstances.

What if I was in an Intimate Relationship with the Complainant?

Prior sexual contact between a complainant and accused is generally not relevant in a sexual assault trial. Further, such evidence is generally not admissible as evidence. If a defendant wishes to introduce such evidence, they must first make a s. 276 application to the Court requesting permission to introduce the evidence.

What is a s. 276 Application?

A s.276 application is an application made to the Court, prior to trial, requesting permission to admit evidence regarding the complainant prior sexual history. As a general rule in criminal proceedings involving sexual offences, this evidence is inadmissible. If the evidence is pertinent to the case the defence may request a s.276 hearing prior to trial to determine whether the evidence can be properly admitted.

Will a Sexual Assault Convicted Affect Other Aspects of my Life?

Yes. Having a criminal record for anything in Canada can have impacts on an individual’s ability to gain and maintain employment, their ability to travel and their ability to volunteer or work with certain vulnerable groups. This is especially true of a sexual assault conviction due to the serious nature of sexual offences.

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