TORONTO SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFENCE LAWYER

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DEFEND SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES. 416-DEFENCE.

The Firm has a dedicated practice in defending a range of sexual assault allegations, specifically dated allegations of sexual assault and incest as far back as 1977. We help each of our clients obtain the best results when confronted with allegations of sexual assault. In our R. v. M.M.[2014], it defended the accused charged with Rape and Sexual Assault from nearly 40 years ago. In its R. v. W.C. [2015], it defended a dated allegation of incest from the complainants father from the 1980s.

Sexual assault is a serious crime and aggressively prosecuted. When an assault has an added sexual element, it is considered a substantial aggravating factor which is reflected in its sentences. We have substantial knowledge and experience in the realm of sexual offences. These offences are very fact based, often with conflicting testimony and evidence. Our Toronto Criminal Lawyers have significant experience defending sexual offences alleged to have occurred against children, specifically sexual interference and child pornography allegations.

We carefully defend a range of sexual assault allegations, including offences against children. Beyond the potential for severe penal sanctions, a conviction of sexual assault has profound employment, travel and social consequences. Recently, the Criminal Law Group secured a withdrawal of an allegation of Sexual Assault against a Jehovah Witness in its R. v. R.K. [2014]. It further secured a withdrawal of a Sexual Interference allegation in its R. v. J.P. [2014]. In November, 2015, the Firm secured a withdrawal of two counts of Sexual Assault where two female students fabricated an allegations of Sexual Assault in its R. v. K.C [2015]. In the Firm’s R. v. J.S. [2017], after 2 years of litigation, it secured a withdrawal of two counts of Sexual Assault where the accused allegedly sexually assaulted a Canada Post co-worker.

The Firm is frequently consulted by the Media for High Profile Sex Offences in Toronto. The Firm defends a range of sex crimes, specifically Sexual Interference, Sexual Exploitation, Internet Luring, Child Pornography, Voyeurism and other related sex offences. In November, 2016, the Firm secured a withdrawal of Nine (9) Sex Offences against a Toronto TTC Driver Charged with Nine (9) Sex Crimes, including Luring.  In the Firm’s R. v. D.N. [2016], after a 3 day trial, the Firm secured a full acquittal on all counts of Sexual Assault, Sexual Interference and Invitation to Sexual Touching where the accused was alleged to have sexually assaulted a 10 year old child a decade ago.The Firm further secured a withdrawal of both Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference in its R. v. P.W. [2016], where the accused was alleged to have sexually assaulted his daughter in 2005.

CityNews Jordan Donich LawyerCharges of Sexual Assault can include allegations of Sexual Interference or allegations associated with Child Pornography. Possession or distribution of child pornography is a serious sex offence allegation. In the Criminal Law Group’s R. v. E.G. [2014], it handled one of Toronto’s largest Child Pornography busts, with over 500,000 images and 600 videos of child sexual abuse content seized by Police. Files were being exchanged through what the user thought was encrypted file-sharing communication. The Criminal Law Group critically analyzed the Production Orders from the file sharing domains, Search Warrant and other invasive police search tactics used to compromise the encrypted file-sharing program. Although allegations of sexual assault are frequently associated with serious offenders, we frequently observe law abiding citizens and professionals confronted with these allegations in the context of marital or relationship disputes.

The Firm has even been retained to handled allegations of sexual assault before charges have been laid. The Firm has worked with Toronto Police to discredit allegations of sexual assault against the accused and successfully avoided charges from being laid, removing the potential social stigma associated with these allegations. We have been retained to assist doctors, physiotherapists, care-givers and other professionals who are at a higher risk of facing allegations of sexual assault at work. These are situations where the police have commenced an investigation against the professional without formal charges being laid.

When defending these allegations, we undertake a critical analysis of police evidence and witness statements. Your reputation is our priority.

Description: Jordan Donich provides expert commentary to CityNews regarding Sexual Assault Prosecution on June 15, 2017.

Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?
What are some of the Penalties for Sexual Assault?
What is the difference between Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference?
What is the Age of Consent?
What is Incest?
What are some of the Penalties for Incest?
What is a s.487 DNA Order?

Sexual Interference

What is Sexual Interference?
What are some of the Penalties for Sexual Interference?
What is Incest?
What is the SOIRA s.490.012 order?
What is the Duration of a SOIRA order?
What is a s.161 Order?

Additional Resources

Sexual Assault
Internet Sex Crimes Database
Other Sex Crimes Resources
Voyeurism

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is an offence under Section 271 of the Criminal Code. Sexual Assault is an assault of a sexual nature where the sexual integrity of the victim is violated. To determine whether an assault has the requisite sexual nature requires assessing whether a sexual or carnal context is visible to a reasonable observer. The Supreme Court of Canada has said that several factors are relevant when making this assessment, including:

  • The part of the body touched;
  • The nature of the contact;
  • The situation in which it occurred;
  • The words and gestures accompanying the act;
  • All other circumstances surrounding the conduct, including threats which may or may not be accompanied by force.
  • The accused’s intent or purpose as well as his motive, if such motive is sexual gratification, may also be factors in considering whether the conduct is sexual.

It is also important to note that the act of sexual assault does not depend solely on contact with any specific part of the human anatomy but rather that the act is of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim.

There are three offences of sexual assault outlined in the Criminal Code that criminalize sexual assaults depending on their varying degrees of severity:

  • Section 271 – Sexual Assault (encompasses all assaults of a sexual nature violating the sexual integrity of the victim not covered by the other two provisions).
  • Section 272 – Sexual Assault with a Weapon, Threats to a Third Party or Causing Bodily Harm can arise in four situations when a person who while committing a sexual assault, also does one of the following:
    • (a) Carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon;
    • (b) Threatens to cause bodily harm to a person other than the complainant;
    • (c) Causes bodily harm to the complainant; or
    • (d) Is a party to the offence with any other person.
  • Section 273 – Aggravated Sexual Assault occurs when an accused, in committing a sexual assault, wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

What are some of the Penalties for Sexual Assault?

Penalties for sexual assault will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the characteristics of the offender and complainant and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors. Penalties also vary depending on which of the sexual assault offences an individual is charged with.

Section 271 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for sexual assault can result in up to ten years imprisonment if the Crown proceeds by indictment. There is a minimum penalty of one-year imprisonment if the complainant is under the age of sixteen. The offence is also punishable on summary conviction by a penalty of up to eighteen months imprisonment. There is a minimum penalty of ninety days imprisonment if the complainant is under the age of sixteen.

Section 272 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm can result in up to fourteen years imprisonment. There are also minimum imprisonment terms for offences that involve firearms, are committed in relation to a criminal association, are subsequent offences or that involve a complainant under the age of sixteen.

Section 273 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for aggravated sexual assault can result in life imprisonment. There are also minimum imprisonment terms for offences that involve firearms, are committed in relation to a criminal association, are subsequent offences or that involve a complainant under the age of sixteen.

What is the difference between Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference?

The main differences between sexual assault and sexual interference are the age of the complainant and the nature of the sexual contact.

Sexual interference charges can only arise in situations where the complainant is under the age of sixteen years of age. Comparatively, sexual assault charges arise anytime there is an assault of a sexual nature, regardless of the age of the complainant.

Sexual interference requires touching of a young person, either directly or indirectly, for a sexual purpose. Comparatively, sexual assault may occur without touching between persons. Sexual assault covers a broader range of conduct.

What is the Age of Consent?

The age of consent refers to the age at which a young person can legally consent to sexual activity. The age of consent for sexual activity in Canada is sixteen years old. Nobody under the age of sixteen can legally consent to sexual activity and it is a criminal offence to engage them in sexual acts. There are “close in age” or “peer group” exceptions.

The age of consent where sexual activity “exploits” the young person (i.e. prostitution) is eighteen years of age.

It is important to note that all sexual activity without consent, regardless of age, is also a criminal offence.

What is Incest?

Incest is the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with a relative. Section 155(1) of the Criminal Code sets out that an individual commits incest when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with someone knowing that person is by blood relationship his or her parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild.

To be convicted of incest there must be:

  • Sexual intercourse;
  • Between persons who are one of the following blood relations to each other: parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild;
  • It must have been known the parties were of blood relation.

What are some of the Penalties for Incest?

Penalties for incest will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the characteristics of the offender and complainant and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

Section 155(2) of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for incest can result in up to fourteen years imprisonment. There is a minimum penalty of five years imprisonment if the complainant is under the age of sixteen.

What is a s.487 DNA Order?

Section 487 DNA orders are discretionary orders made at sentencing for an offender’s DNA to be collected and added to a national database. This order is made after an accused person has been convicted, discharged or found not criminally responsible for an offence that falls under Section 487 primary or secondary designated offences. The DNA is taken by a law enforcement official and then entered into a Convicted Offenders Index.

Section 487 also allows the Crown to apply to a provincial judge for an order to take DNA from an individual for the purpose of forensic DNA analysis for the purposes of investigating a criminal offence.

What is Sexual Interference?

Section 151 of the Criminal Code sets out that sexual interference is touching a person under the age of sixteen, either directly or indirectly, for a sexual purpose. To obtain a conviction for sexual interference, the Crown must prove:

  1.  The complainant was under the age of sixteen at the time of the event;
  2. The accused touched the complainant;
  3. The touching was for a sexual purpose;
  4. The accused knew the complainant was under the age of sixteen or did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the complainant’s age.

What are some of the Penalties for Sexual Interference?

Penalties for sexual interference will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the characteristics of the offender and complainant and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

Section 151 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for sexual interference can result in up to ten years imprisonment when the Crown proceeds by indictment. There is a minimum penalty of one-year imprisonment. The Crown may also proceed summarily, in which case the offence is punishable by up to eighteen months imprisonment. There is a minimum penalty of ninety days imprisonment.

What is Incest?

Incest is the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with a relative. Section 155(1) of the Criminal Code sets out that an individual commits incest when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with someone knowing that person is by blood relationship his or her parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild.

To be convicted of incest there must be:

  • Sexual intercourse;
  • Between persons who are one of the following blood relations to each other: parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild;
  • It must have been known the parties were of blood relation.

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. 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 is the Duration of a SOIRA order?

SOIRA orders can be made for a period of ten years, twenty years or life. The length of the order depends on the type of offence committed.

What is a s.161 Order?

Section 161 of the Criminal Code allows an order to be made prohibiting convicted offenders from certain activities that may have them in contact with persons under the age of sixteen. These orders are made when an offender is convicted of a designated offence concerning a person under the age of sixteen. Section 161 orders are meant to be preventative in nature by protecting children and young persons from convicted offenders.

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