Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

The offence of sexual exploitation is outlined in section 153(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of sexual exploitation when they are in a position of trust, dependency, or authority towards a young person aged 16 to 18 and they either touch the young person for a sexual purpose, tell, or encourage that young person to touch themselves or anyone else for a sexual purpose, or profit from that young person doing sex work.

A “sexual purpose” includes sexual gratification or the violation of another’s sexual integrity.

Examples

While swimming together, person A uses a pool noodle to touch their 17-year-old student’s genital region while person A pleasures themselves.

Person B invites person C to touch their sleeping 16-year-old child in a sexual manner if person C pays person B.

Cases

R. v. R.T., 2017 ONSC 2625

In R. v. R.T., the accused was convicted of one count of sexual exploitation when he developed a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old daughter of the woman he had been dating and living with for four years.

R. v. Kissner, 2019 ONSC 4872

In R. v. Kissner, the accused was convicted of four counts of sexual exploitation when he touched, groped, massaged, and masturbated in front of four of his 16 to 18-year-old employees and volunteers.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Sexual Purpose

When a person in a relationship of trust, dependency, or authority with a 16 or 18-year-old touches that 16 to 18-year-old or instructs them to touch themselves for a purpose that is not sexual, this person may not have completed the offence of sexual exploitation.

For example, if person A is a doctor and touches person C, who is 17, as part of a legitimate medical examination, person A has not completed the offence of sexual exploitation.

Not a Young Person

Where the person touched or encouraged to touch themselves or another is not between the ages of 16 and 18, the person will not have completed the offence of sexual exploitation.

No Relationship of Trust, Authority, Dependency, or Exploitation

Where the person is not in a relationship of trust, dependency, or authority with the 16 to 18-year-old, where that 16 to 18-year-old is not dependent upon this person, and where the 16 to 18-year-old is not engaging in sex work for this person, the person has not completed the offence of sexual exploitation.

Where there is no relationship of trust, dependency, or authority between the adult and the young person, and the adult touches or encourages the young person to touch themselves or another, the adult has not completed the offence of sexual exploitation. The adult has, however, committed other sexual offences.

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