FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES IN MISSISSAUGA AND OAKVILLE.  416-DEFENCE.

Donich law has defended many sexual assault cases in Mississauga, Oakville and all across Ontario. We have helped first-time offenders, individuals with prior criminal records, and even individuals accused of sexual assaults that happened many years prior. If you have been charged with sexual assault in Mississauga or Oakville, Donich Law can help you navigate the criminal justice system and achieve the best possible outcome. The Firm has, in some cases, been able to resolve cases without the client receiving a criminal record or having to register as a sex offender.

In the 2020 case of R. v. M.Z. [2020], Donich Law represented the owner of several restaurants around Toronto who had been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement for allegedly sexually assaulting an employee inside his office. During cross-examination of the complainant, counsel was able to prove that she had been lying about the circumstances and the client was acquitted of all charges. Also in 2020, in the case of R. v. K.H. [2020], Donich Law secured another acquittal for an individual charged with sexual assault.

In the 2019 case of R. v. A.E. [2019], Donich Law represented an individual charged with sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, and sexual interference allegedly occurring in 1985. Counsel found evidence that the complainant was making up these allegations and secured an acquittal for the client.

In the 2018 case of R. v. S.L. [2018], Donich Law defended an individual charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a co-worker in the bathroom of a Swiss Chalet. The Firm filed an application to have the court allow evidence of the complainant’s past sexual history at trial, which showed that the complainant had hidden the fact that she and the accused were having an affair prior to the incident. Upon learning of this exculpatory evidence, the Crown dropped the charges against the client.

In the 2018 case of R. v. Z.C. [2018], Donich Law represented an individual charged with 11 counts of sexual assault and sexual interference involving multiple underage relatives. The Firm secured the withdrawal of all the charges.

In the 2017 case of R. v. Y.R. [2017], the Firm represented a prominent realtor accused of sexual assault and resolved the matter through negotiations with the accuser before any charges were laid.

In the 2016 case of R. v. D.N. [2016], Donich Law defended an individual charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, and invitation to sexual touching occurring more than a decade prior. The case went to trial where counsel secured an acquittal on all charges.

Click here for more information on defending sexual assault allegations including common defences and the law of consent in Canada or here if you have been falsely accused. Click here for more information on new changes to child sex offence sentencing.

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 Evidence Can I not Introduce in Sexual Assault Cases?
What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?
How do I Defend a Sexual Assault Charge?
What Charter Defences can I use in a Sexual Assault Case?

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 Evidence Can I not Introduce in Sexual Assault Cases and Why?

Canadian law will prohibit you from introducing evidence about your relationship with the complainant, and the complainant’s sexual history. This is because the Supreme Court of Canada has held that this information supports harmful myths and stereotypes about sexual assault complainants. More specifically, information about the accused’s relationship with the complainant is typically used to support the idea that because the complainant is romantically involved with or close to the accused they must have wanted or encouraged the sexual activity that is the subject of the assault case. Information about the accused’s sexual history is similarly used to support the harmful idea that because the complainant has engaged in sexual activity in the past, they must have wanted to engage in it this time.

However, where the accused can demonstrate that this type of evidence is relevant to the case at hand and does not serve to further these myths, the court will allow the accused to introduce it but only so it can be used for the valid reason argued.

For example, where the accused wishes to present evidence that the complainant is a sex worker simply to illustrate that they often engage in risky and violent sex, the court will not allow this. However, where the accused wishes to present evidence that the complainant is their ex-partner who now holds a bitter grudge against them because of how badly their relationship ended, the court will likely allow this.

What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?

As sexual assault is a broadly defined offence, the sentences imposed on those convicted of it will vary from individual to individual. For example, someone accused of groping strangers on the street will receive a much lighter sentence than an individual who plans and executes several violent rapes.

The sentence imposed on an individual convicted of sexual assault can vary from probation to lengthy incarceration, and will depend on the circumstances of the case, the nature of the allegations, the accused’s criminal history, relevant aggravating or mitigating factors, and whether the Crown proceeds summarily or by indictment.

In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Where the complainant was under 16 and the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face a maximum of 14 years in jail and a minimum of one year in jail. In less serious cases, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum penalty of two years less a day in jail. Where the complainant was under 16 and the Crown proceeds summarily, the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in jail and a minimum of six months in jail.

All individuals convicted of sexual assault will be required to register as sex offenders. On conviction, the court will issue the accused an order to register under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) for a specific length of time that could vary from 10 years to life.

Donich law has been able to resolve sexual assault charges without our clients facing any jail time, and sometimes even without the client receiving a criminal record or having to register as sex offenders. Sexual assault charges are becoming more and more difficult to beat in the current political climate. As a result, it is important to hire experienced legal counsel to represent you.

How do I Defend a Sexual Assault Charge?

Sexual assault allegations can be challenging to defend, as in many cases there is no evidence other than the testimony of the accused and the complainant. Also, Crown counsel in Mississauga and Oakville tend to zealously prosecute sexual assault cases and advocate for long jail sentences on conviction. Despite these difficulties, counsel at Donich Law have developed several strategies for defending sexual assault charges.

In sexual assault cases, the Crown has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has committed the sexual assault as alleged. The accused has no obligation to present any of their own evidence and could simply argue that the Crown has not proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Where the Crown has enough evidence to suggest the accused is guilty, the accused could present evidence that supports their version of events. Another strategy is to deny that any sexual activity occurred and argue that the complainant has fabricated the allegations by presenting evidence that can explain why the complaint might be doing this or evidence that attacks the complainant’s credibility.

Finally, in circumstances where the complainant concedes that sexual activity did occur between them and the accused, the accused could argue that the complainant consented to this sexual activity. To use this defence successfully, the accused should present evidence as to why they believed the complainant provided clear and ongoing consent.

The accused could also argue they mistakenly believed the complainant had consented where they can show they took reasonable steps to ascertain if the complainant was consenting and that they genuinely believed in existing and ongoing consent. When the accused chooses to testify, it is important that they appear and remain credible, as this is a factor the Court will consider when determining whether the Crown has made its case against the accused.

What Charter Defences can I use in a Sexual Assault Case?

A Charter challenge can be brought where agents or representatives of the state have violated the accused’s rights and freedoms while investigating and prosecuting them. Where a Charter Challenge is successfully brought, the sexual assault charges against the accused could be stayed by the Court or withdrawn by the Crown. Two of the many Charter challenges available concern unreasonable delay and the excessive use of force by police.

Where the state has caused or is on track to cause a delay of over 18 months in the time between the charges are formally laid on the accused to the time the accused is sentenced the accused can bring a section 11(b) Charter challenge. Significant delays can be caused in sexual assault cases due to the Crown being slow to provide full disclosure or to schedule times to meet and negotiate plea deals. Delays can also be caused by the complainant and other witnesses constantly changing their minds on whether they wish to participate and testify or not.

Another Charter challenge, a section 7 challenge, can be brought where police have unnecessarily used excessive force while detaining or arresting the accused. Any force police use while apprehending someone must be necessary, proportionate, and lawful. This means that if the accused is not resisting, is complying with police demands, and is being detained or arrested for a valid reason, police will not be permitted to hit, kick, punch or otherwise forcefully handle the accused.

These are just some of the many Charter challenges that might be available to an accused charged with sexual assault. Counsel at Donich Law will review your case to determine which Charter challenges, if any, can be put forward to help you achieve favourable results.

Quick Facts

Will I go to Jail for Sexual Assault?

You may have to go to jail if convicted of sexual assault in Mississauga or Oakville, depending on the severity of the allegations, the age of the complainant and the harm done to them, your criminal history, and other relevant aggravating and mitigating factors.

What if the Complainant is Lying?

Sexual assault cases can be based entirely on the testimonies of the complainant and accused. Where the accused can present evidence at trial that the complainant consented to the sexual activity or had a reason to fabricate the allegations, they will have a strong defence.

What if I Have a Sexual History with the Complainant?

The complainant’s sexual history cannot be admitted as evidence in most sexual assault cases, even if they have had prior sexual contact with the accused. For this information to be admitted into evidence, the accused will be required to make a s. 276 motion to the court prior to trial.

How do I Know When Someone Gives Consent?

Consent to sexual activity is only given when there is a clearly communicated agreement to engage in a specific sexual act. If the person is silent, unconscious, under the age of consent, or has another person speaking for them, then they have not given consent. A person can also revoke their consent at any time during sexual activity.

What is the Age of Consent?

In Canada, the age of consent is 16 years old. Individuals under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity with an adult. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot consent to sexual activity with people who hold positions of trust or authority over them, and they cannot consent to engage in sex work.

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