Sexual interference is one of the most serious offences an individual in Oshawa, Ajax, and Bowmanville can be charged with. Individuals charged with sexual interference could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and will have to register as sex offenders. A sexual assault charge can also affect an individual’s family relationships, employment, and ability to travel outside of the country.

Due to these serious consequences, it is imperative that those charged with sexual interference retain experienced counsel immediately. Donich Law has years of experience defending clients charged with sexual interference, including those that have been charged years after the alleged offences and those that have been wrongfully accused. Donich Law also has experience speaking to the media on sexual assault and sexual interference cases and communicating with the Children’s Aid Society.

In R. v. D.D. [2018], the Firm secured an acquittal for a client charged with sexual interference, sexual assault, and an invitation to sexual touching from events that allegedly occurred over 20 years prior.

In R. v. Z.C. [2018], the Firm successfully had all charges withdrawn after proving that the allegations leading to all 11 counts of sexual interference and sexual assault were falsely made by the accused’s family member.

In 2017, Donich Law secured the withdrawal of sexual assault and sexual interference charges from events that allegedly occurred in 1977 against a then 5-year-old complainant.

In 2016, Donich Law secured the withdrawal of nine sexual offences against a TTC driver.

In R. v. K. C. [2015], Donich Law secured the withdrawal of two sexual assault charges after proving the complainant had fabricated the allegations.

Donich Law represented an individual charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, and invitation to sexual touching from events that allegedly occurred in 1985 in R. v. A.E. [2010]. There, counsel succeeded in having the charges withdrawn after proving that the allegations were fabricated.

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 Happens After an Accused is Arrested for Sexual Interference?
What if I Plead Guilty to Sexual Interference?
Why can I Not Argue Consent?
Adult Defence to Sexual Interferece
Youth Defences to Sexual Interference

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

What Happens After an Accused is Arrested for Sexual Interference?

When police receive a report of sexual interference and complete their initial investigation, they will arrest the person they reasonably believe committed the sexual interference and bring them to the police station. There, formal charges will be laid against them, and they will either be released on a promise to appear or held in custody until their bail hearing. If released on a promise to appear, they will be given a date to reappear in court to speak to their charges. They will also be given a date to return to the police station to be photographed and fingerprinted. If held in custody, they will be subject to a bail hearing within 24 hours. Where courts have a backlog of cases or an individual is arrested on a weekend or holiday, it may take longer than 24 hours to be released.

At a bail hearing, a judge or Justice of the Peace (JP) will determine if the accused should be released from custody until their trial date. The accused will be required to agree to a suitable release plan. In the case of a sexual interference charge, the accused may be required to reside with a residential surety, to refrain from having contact with the complainant as well as any other minors and to refrain from attending locations children are known to be.

If the accused does get released from custody, they will be ordered to return on a specific day to have their matter spoken to. If the accused does not return to court on the date specified, they will be charged with the criminal offence of failure to appear and may then be subject to harsher bail conditions or may have their bail revoked entirely and be forced to remain in custody until their matter is resolved.

What if I Plead Guilty to Sexual Interference?

All accused persons have the option to plead guilty to their charges and avoid a trial. However, an accused will not be able to plead guilty where the accused does not believe they are guilty or where the accused only believes they are somewhat guilty. Many times, the Crown will offer the accused a reduced sentence or charge to plead guilty.

For example, the Crown could offer to change the accused’s charge from sexual assault with a weapon to simple sexual assault, which carries a lesser penalty, if the accused agrees to plead guilty to this lesser charge. For someone charged with multiple instances of sexual interference, the Crown could agree to drop some of the charges if the accused pleads guilty to the others. These deals do not guarantee the accused a specific sentence but can lower the severity of the maximum sentence they would receive. Where the Crown and the accused make a deal for the accused to plead guilty in exchange for a specific sentence, they will present a joint submission on sentence to the accused’s sentencing judge. The judge will almost always accept the joint position on sentence.

Why can I not Argue Consent when Defending a Charge of Sexual Interference?

Unlike with other sexual assault offences, adult accused persons are not able to argue consent or mistaken belief in consent when defending a charge of sexual interference. This is because sexual interference is committed against a complainant 16 years of age or younger, and the age of consent in Canada is 16. This means that Canadian law does not recognize consent provided by individuals younger than 16. Even if the complainant clearly stated their consent to the accused or initiated the sexual contact with the accused, the accused will have committed a criminal offence by engaging in any sexual contact with the complainant.

Adult Defence to Sexual Interference.

Several defences are available to adults charged with sexual interference.

Where an individual has been wrongfully accused of sexual interference, they could present evidence to show that the allegations are false. This could include evidence that would explain why the complainant could be fabricating the allegations or to show the complainant is not credible.

One possible defence is to argue that the contact was not for the accused’s sexual gratification. For example, where an adult touches a child to clean them, or complete a medical exam, they have not committed sexual interference because there is no sexual purpose behind the touching.

Another defence is to argue that the complainant concealed their true age, and the accused believed them to be over the age of 16 and to have provided valid consent before the sexual activity started. To prove this, the accused would have to demonstrate how the complainant went to great lengths to conceal their true age and appear of age, and why they believed the complainant provided clear and ongoing consent to specific sexual activity. If the complainant is over the age of 16 and under the age of 18, the accused would have to prove that they were not in a relationship of trust or authority with the complainant.

Youth Defence to Sexual Interference.

Where a youth under the age of 18 is charged with sexual interference, the defence of consent may be available to them. If they are close in age to the complainant, the accused youth may be able to argue that the complainant provided valid consent to the sexual activity in question. Valid consent could only exist where the complainant is close in age to the accused and there is no relationship of trust or authority between the two.

Quick Facts

What if the Complainant Lied About Their Age?

Where the complainant went to great lengths to conceal their true age and appear over the age of consent, the accused will have a strong defence to a sexual interference charge.

What if the Complainant Initiated the Sexual Activity?

Individuals under the age of 16 are incapable of providing valid consent to sexual activity with an adult. This means that even if they initiated the sexual activity, their consent to it is invalid. Any adult who engages in any type of sexual activity with an individual under the age of 16 will be committing a criminal offence.

Is there a Limitation Period of Sexual Interference?

There is no time limitation on when a complainant can report an instance of sexual interference. It is possible to be charged years after the alleged incident occurred.

Will I be Able to See my Children if Charged with Sexual Interference?

If released on bail, then those charged with sexual interference will likely be subject to conditions requiring they stay away from children and places where children often go. Restrictions could be placed on an accused’s access to their own children where the court has concerns.

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