The offence of corrupting children is outlined in section 172(1) of the Criminal Code.
A person commits the offence of corrupting children when they engage in behaviour including adultery, sexual immorality, or habitual drunkenness in the home of a child under the age of 18 and, in doing so, endanger the morals of the child or makes the home an unfit place for the child to be.
Person A forces their young children to watch as person A has sex with person B in rooms of the house.
Person B constantly gets drunk and engages in sexual activity with their adult partner in view of children living inside the home.
Person A masturbates while he is in the same room as his young nephew. The nephew does not witness the act but hears it.
R. v. K.C., 2005 ONCJ 460
In R. v. K.C., the accused was charged with corrupting children when he attempted to secretly record his foster child through a vent while she was taking a shower in her private bathroom.
R. c. P.A., 2013 QCCQ 12168
In R. c. P.A., the accused was charged with corrupting children when he, while home alone with his young niece and nephew, walked around completely naked and encouraged the children to do the same.
Offence Specific Defence(s)
No Child in the Home
Where no child lives in or visits the home, a person will not have completed the offence of corrupting children by engaging in any behaviour in that home that could corrupt the morals of a child or make that home an unfit place for a child.
No Danger to the Child
Where the child’s morals are not endangered by the person’s conduct in the home, and their conduct does not make the child’s home an unfit place to be, the person will not have completed the offence of corrupting children.
Type of Conduct
Where the person’s conduct does not amount to behaviour like adultery, sexual immorality or habitual drunkenness, the person may not have completed the offence of corrupting children.
For example, where person A disciplines their child by not allowing them internet access or by forcing them to do labour-intensive chores around the house, they may not have completed the offence of corrupting children.