Aggravated Sexual Assault

Aggravated Sexual Assault

The offence of aggravated sexual assault is outlined in section 273(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of aggravated sexual assault when they intentionally subject another person to sexual or sexualized activity without that person’s explicit consent or threaten to do so and in so doing wound, maim, disfigure, or endanger that person’s life.


Person A holds a knife to person B’s neck to prevent person B from fighting back while person A sexually assaults person B, but the knife slips during intercourse and deeply cuts person B’s cheek, leaving a large scar.

Person C points a loaded handgun at person D’s head while forcing person D to perform oral sex, endangering person D’s life.

Person E ties person F to a bed with a rope around their wrists and ankles so that person F cannot fight back or run while person E sexually assaults them. The ropes are tied too tightly and for too long damaging person F’s hands and feet to the point where they need to be amputated.


R. v. H. M. R. S., 2020 ONCA 209

In R. v. H. M. R. S., the accused was convicted of one count of aggravated sexual assault when, while having sex with the complainant, he strangled her with a cloth until she blacked out, causing her serious facial and neck injuries.

R. v. N.G., 2020 ONCA 494

In R. v. N.G., the accused was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault for failing to inform three women he was dating that he was HIV positive, as he had a high viral count each time he had sex with them. The women would not have consented to the sexual activity with the accused had they known he was HIV positive.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Wounding, Maiming, Disfiguring or Danger to Life

Where a person commits a sexual assault but does not wound, maim, disfigure, or endanger the other person’s life, they have not completed the offence of aggravated sexual assault. For example, if person A gently rubs person B’s thighs without person B’s consent, they will not have completed the offence of aggravated sexual assault.

No Sexual Assault

Where the person has the other person’s consent to engage in sexual activity or is not subjecting the person to activity that is sexual in nature, then, even if they wound, maim, disfigure, or endanger the other person’s life, they have not completed the offence of aggravated sexual assault.

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