Child luring is one of the most serious offences an individual in Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Cobourg and Bowmanville can be charged with. A charge of child luring can be shameful, scary, and overwhelming, especially for individuals who have never been charged with a criminal offence before or who did not realize they were doing something illegal.

Beyond serious legal penalties, a child luring conviction can impact an individual’s ability to work, travel, and maintain social and family relationships. This is why it is important to retain counsel as soon as possible if charged with child luring. Donich Law has successfully defended clients across Ontario charged with child luring, regularly achieving favourable results.

In 2021, the Firm represented an individual charged with child luring and making sexually explicit material available to a child in R. v. P.E. [2021]. The accused was charged with luring and explicit material offences after communicating with an undercover police officer posing as an underaged girl online. Part of the communications between the accused and undercover officer included discussing sexual topics and making plans to engage in sexual activity in the future. After bringing an entrapment Charter challenge, the Crown withdrew three of the charges weeks before trial, avoiding jail time for the accused.

In 2017, Donich Law represented several people charged in connection with Project Raphael, a massive sting operation where police officers pretended to be minors soliciting sexual services and arrested adults attempting to buy these services.

In 2016, counsel at Donich Law successfully negotiated for the withdrawal of nine child luring charges for a TTC driver. If you have been charged with a child luring offence in Oshawa, Ajax, or Bowmanville, Donich Law can assist you in developing a defence tailored to your particular case.

Click here for more information on new changes to child sex offence sentencing. For more information on how to defend luring charges, click here. If you are arrested you will be placed on bail with specific conditions, a publication ban should also be considered to protect your privacy.

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.

Toronto Star: Pornhub and Revenge Porn.

Toronto Star: New Corporate Liability for Child Pornography in Canada.

Toronto Star: Police Power and Social Media Companies.

CP24: Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuit at St. Michael’s in Toronto.

Global News: Historical Sexual Assault Charges and Bill Cosby.

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

Is Child Luring on the Rise?
What is a Police Undertaking?
What are Some Aggravating Factors in a Child Luring Case?
What are Common Defences to Child Luring?

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

Is Child Luring on the Rise?

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection reports that child luring is up 120% since the start of 2022. They note that social media applications like Snapchat and Instagram are being used to facilitate child luring as children have been using these applications more and more to socialize since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Snapchat and Instagram both allow users to send images that “disappear” after a few seconds, which makes it an attractive platform to discuss the sharing of sexually explicit images and videos. Besides commonly used social media platforms attracting younger traffic, there are anonymous chat websites like Omegle where users can easily lie about their age. This can lead to individuals inadvertently soliciting sexual services or images from minors when they believe they are speaking to someone of age.

What is a Police Undertaking?

Sometimes, individuals arrested for child luring may be released by police on a police undertaking, or a Form 11.1, instead of being held in custody for a bail hearing. A police undertaking is a legal document that sets out conditions an accused person must abide by while living in the community pending the resolution of their charges. These conditions are often charge-specific and are similar to bail conditions.

For example, an accused charged with child luring may be required to stay away from areas where children are known to be such as schools, daycares, playgrounds, swimming pools, and parks, and to stop communicating with any children. More generally, the accused may be required to surrender their passport, remain in Ontario, and notify police if they move within Ontario or change employment.

A promise to appear, also known as Form 10, is often given along with police undertakings and specifies the accused’s charges and when they need to appear in court to speak on their charges. If an accused person fails to appear in court on the date specified in the promise to appear that they signed, they may be charged with the criminal offence of failure to appear.

The accused will need to sign both the undertaking and the promise to appear before they are allowed to leave the police station. If they refuse to sign, they will be held in custody to await a bail hearing.

What are Some Aggravating Factors in a Child Luring Case?

Aggravating factors are circumstances in an accused’s case that are likely to increase the severity of the sentence imposed on them upon conviction. Some aggravating factors that could be present in any case include the accused having a lengthy criminal history, the accused having done extensive harm to the complainant, or the accused having a long relationship of trust or authority with the complainant. For child luring offences, the court could also consider the following factors as aggravating:

  • The complainant is very young or revealed to the accused that they are very young.
  • The accused used especially graphic, manipulative, degrading, or violent language when committing the child luring.
  • The accused continued with the child luring for a long period of time.
  • The accused demonstrated a high level of deliberation and persistence when committing the child luring, including by making threats to the children.
  • The accused attempted to meet the complainant in person, and if they did meet in person the accused then sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault the complainant.
  • The accused sent sexually explicit images of themselves or other sexually explicit materials to the complainant.
  • The accused had child pornography in their possession.

What are Common Defences to Child Luring?

Child luring charges can be hard to defend. Law enforcement investigations that result in child luring charges often involve sophisticated technologies and software, which results in substantial and credible evidence for the Crown to utilize. Furthermore, since child luring is a serious sexual offence against children, Crown attorneys push for longer jail sentences and do not like to negotiate for lower sentences with the accused. Finally, consent is not available as a defence to child luring since individuals under the age of 16 cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult.

However, there are some defences that those accused of child luring can argue, depending on the circumstances of their case. Our firm will use independent experts and software to analyze all evidence available and formulate a strong defence.

One common defence to child luring is entrapment. Entrapment occurs when a law enforcement official provides an accused with an opportunity to commit a crime without having a reasonable suspicion that the accused was already committing a similar crime.

For example, where a law enforcement officer provides an accused with an opportunity to sell drugs over the phone despite the officer having no reason to suspect that the accused is selling drugs to other people, the officer will have committed entrapment. In the context of child luring, entrapment would occur where an officer provides the accused with an opportunity to solicit sexual services from a minor online without reasonable belief that the accused was soliciting sexual services from other minors online.

Other possible defences attack the essential elements of the offence. First, where the accused was speaking to a minor for a legitimate reason and was not soliciting sexual services from them or attempting to commit another enumerated offence, they will not have committed child luring.

Second, where the accused does not believe that they are speaking to a child, they will not have committed child luring. To use this defence, the accused must have taken reasonable steps to ascertain the complainant’s true age and cannot simply assume or remain wilfully blind to the complainant’s age.

Quick Facts

How to Beat a Child Luring Charge?

Child luring charges are difficult to defend. Law enforcement uses sophisticated technologies and software to amass lots of evidence against offenders, and Crown attorneys do not like to show much leniency to those charged with sexual offences relating to children. Donich Law has years of experience successfully representing clients charged with child luring and can help you develop a strong defence despite these challenges.

Can I Make My Conviction Private?

Information about your child luring conviction will likely be accessible to the public as most criminal convictions are part of the public record in Canada. Furthermore, everyone is allowed to watch the hearings and read the decisions of almost every criminal case. Hiring legal counsel may assist in limiting exposure.

What if I was Talking to An Undercover Officer?

The offence of child luring only requires the accused to believe that the person they were communicating with was under 18 and does not require that person to actually be under 18. If the accused was speaking to an undercover officer when they thought they were speaking to a minor, with the intention to facilitate the commission of an enumerated sexual offence, they will still be charged with child luring.

What if the Child said they were 18?

Where an accused has taken reasonable steps to determine the person’s age and because of this believed them to be of age when they were truly not, the accused may have a valid defence to a child luring charge. This defence is usually only available where the child has gone to great lengths to conceal their true age and to appear of age.

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