TORONTO PUBLICATION OF AN INTIMATE IMAGE LAWYER

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TORONTO REVENGE PORN LAWYER

Publication of an intimate image without consent is a new Criminal Code offence and often referred to as Revenge Porn. These charges are on the rise with prevalent accesses to HD recording smartphones. The offence is governed by s.162.1 of the Criminal Code which provides (1) Everyone who knowingly publishes, distributes, transmits, sells, makes available or advertises an intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct, or being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent to that conduct is guilty of (a) of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not more than five years; or (2) of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Almost all of the revenge porn allegations handled by the Firm arise from the breakdown of a relationship. The common scenario we handle is where one of the parties will release sexually explicit material, previously made on consent between the couple, on to a pornography website, such as Porn Hub. This material then circulates and is challenging to remove. The Firm has expertise in Child Pornography allegations which can share similarities with charges of revenge porn.

Revenge Porn allegations can also be coupled with voyeurism charges, where the recording is done without consent. Trespassing at night offences include loitering, prowls and voyeurism. Trespassing at night is specifically dealt with in the Criminal Code and is defined as anyone who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, loiters or prowls at night on the property of another person near a dwelling-house situated on that property. The Criminal Law Group recently secured a full withdrawal of Voyeurism, where the accused posed as the owner of a Toronto Strip Club, attempting to solicit nude pictures of women in its R. v. J.R. [2015]. We frequently handle cases where the accused is alleged to have recorded women in private settings, generally with a smart phone. We also have experience defending a range of allegations where the recording is alleged to be in a public setting, including on public transit.

The Firm recently resolved a University of Toronto student charged with Voyeurism for secretly recording women on the TTC escalator without a Criminal Record in its R. v. S.H. [2015].

Trespassing, loitering and prowling by night all share a particularly adverse stigma which may lead to significant social, employment and travel consequences. We frequently observe law abiding citizens without criminal records confronted with these allegations, sometimes under the influence of alcohol. These individuals are not criminals and were simply engaging in behavior, which they may not have even realized was criminal.

We persuasively work to have many of these allegations dismissed well in advance of trial and without a criminal record.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Voyeurism?
Is Voyeurism a Sexual Offence?
What is Observation for a Sexual Purpose?
What is a Visual Recording?
Is a Recording Required for a Conviction of Voyeurism?
What are some Exemptions to Voyeuristic Recordings?
Is it an Offence to Print or Publish Voyeuristic Recordings?
Are the Motives of Someone Charged with Voyeurism Relevant?
What are some of the Penalties for Voyeurism?
What is the SOIRA s.490,012 order?
What are some of the Penalties for Trespassing at Night?

What is Voyeurism?

Section 162(1) of the Criminal Code sets out that voyeurism is secretly observing or making a visual recording of a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. There are three situations where voyeurism charges can arise. They include when:

(a) The person is in a place in which a person can reasonably be expected to be nude, to expose his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts, or to be engaged in explicit sexual activity;

(b) The person is nude, is exposing his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts, or is engaged in explicit sexual activity, and the observation or recording is done for the purpose of observing or recording a person in such a state or engaged in such an activity; or

(c) The observation or recording is done for a sexual purpose.

Is Voyeurism a Sexual Offence?

Yes, voyeurism is a sexual offence. All three situations where voyeurism charges may arise include sexual activity or a sexual purpose.

What is Observation for a Sexual Purpose?

Observation for a sexual purpose requires an individual to be observing for a sexual purpose where someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means the individual is not simply observing in a general public place. Some examples of places where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy include in their homes or in hotel rooms.

What is a Visual Recording?

Section 162(2) of the Criminal Code defines a visual recording as a photographic, film or video recording made by any means.

Is a Recording Required for a Conviction of Voyeurism?

No, making a recording is only one of two ways an individual can commit voyeurism. The offence can also be committed when an individual is secretly observing.

What are some Exemptions to Voyeuristic Recordings?

Section 162(3) of the Criminal Code states that Sections 162(1)(a) and (b) do not apply to a peace officer who, under the authority of a warrant issued under section 487.01, is carrying out any activity referred to in those paragraphs.

Is it an Offence to Print or Publish Voyeuristic Recordings?

Yes, it is an offence to print or publish voyeuristic recordings. Section 162(4) of the Criminal Code states that every one commits an offence who, knowing that a recording was obtained by the commission of an offence under Section 162(1) prints, copies, publishes, distributes, circulates, sells, advertises or makes available the recording, or has the recording in his or her possession for the purpose of printing, copying, publishing, distributing, circulating, selling or advertising it or making it available.

Are the Motives of Someone Charged with Voyeurism Relevant?

No, according to Section 162(7) of the Criminal Code the motives of an accused are irrelevant.

What are some of the Penalties for Voyeurism?

Penalties for a conviction of voyeurism will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, and the characteristics of the offender and complainant, as well as the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors.

Section 162(5) of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction of voyeurism can result in a penalty of up to five years imprisonment when the Crown proceeds by indictment.

What is the SOIRA s.490,012 order?

A SOIRA order is an order made at sentencing pursuant to Section 490.012 of the Criminal Code for an offender to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act. Orders can be made after an offender is convicted, pleads guilty or is found not criminally responsible. SOIRA orders are made after a designated sexual offence is committed. Voyeurism is a qualifying offence. The order requires offenders convicted of sexual offences to register their information in the SOIRA database. The database is accessible to police and contains addresses, descriptions and other information about convicted offenders.

Offenders are obligated to keep SOIRA information up to date for the duration of the order. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

What are some of the Penalties for Trespassing at Night?

Penalties for a conviction of trespassing at night will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, and the characteristics of the offender and complainant, as well as the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors.

Section 177 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction of trespassing at night is a summary conviction offence and can result in a penalty of up to six months imprisonment.

DONICH LAW IN THE MEDIA

donich-oconnellDonich Law regularly provides expert commentary to the media regarding new developments in the Law, particularly in the realm of Financial  and Sexual crimes, Privacy Law and other emerging areas. In our R. v. J.R. [2015], the Firm secured a withdrawal of Voyeurism and Fraud Under $5,000.00 against the accused who perpetrated to be the owner of a Toronto Strip Club to solicit nude photos of women, computer devices and phone records were seized by police. The Firm has also handled a range of other Voyeurism allegations on Public Transit, the TTC and in other public settings.

We have provided expert legal commentary on emerging legal issues, specifically with the development of mobile computing and the widespread availability of HD Recording devices in new Smartphones and their implications for Privacy Law.

Jordan Donich CityNewsThe Firm has been consulted for expert commentary from CityNews, McLeans MagazineCTV and many other Toronto Media organizations. The Firm has provided expert legal commendtary on new developments in Internet Crime, specifically Child Pornography, Financial Crimes, Cloud Computing and new sophisticated law enforcement tools.

The Firm defended Peel Regions largest Child Pornography bust in 2014 in its R. v. E.G. [2014], where over half a million images of child sexual exploitation material was recovered and hundreds of videos. The investigation involved the collaboration of three separate law enforcement agencies, including one based out of the U.S.A., where American law enforcement technology was used.

Description: Jordan Donich provides expert opinion to CityNews on July 25, 2015. An Uber Taxi Driver was caught secretly recording passengers for a personal website. The Firm provided expert legal opinion regarding new technologies in Privacy Law and Voyeurism.

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