TORONTO VICTIM LAWYER

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TORONTO VICTIM LAWYER

We assist victims and witnesses throughout the criminal proceeding. The Criminal Law Group specializes in assisting victims of sexual assault, sexual interference and other serious crimes with reporting and support through the court process. Frequently, we assist young female and male complainants of sexual crimes ensure their intentions throughout the criminal proceedings are not overlooked.

We have assisted young female complaints report allegations of sexual assault and provided expert advice regarding potential civil recovery and criminal charges against the perpetrator.

We also assist victims who may no longer wish to pursue charges in an ongoing investigation. These scenarios frequently arise in the context of domestic assault allegations. The Police have a zero-tolerance policy for domestic assault and will frequently lay charges irrespective of whether the complainant wishes to proceed. It is often misbelieved that the complainant has the “choice” of whether to lay charges. However, once the police have attended the scene, charges will be pursued at police discretion.

VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Assault?
What is Sexual Interference?
Is Consent a Defence?
Is Consent Always a Defence?
Can a Self-Represented Accused Cross-Examine the Witness?
Can a Spouse be Compelled to Testify Against the Accused?

What is Sexual Assault?

A prerequisite to sexual assault is that there must be an assault simplicity. To be classified as a sexual assault, the assault must be of a sexual nature, such that the sexual integrity of the complainant is violated, potentially by means of touching a sexual organ.

What is Sexual Interference?

Sexual interference arises when anyone for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years. Sexual Interference is generally more aggravating than sexual assault since it involves a minor or where the accused is in a position of trust.

Is Consent a Defence?

If consent can be proven, it may be a viable defence to an allegation of sexual assault in certain circumstances. The scope of what constitutes consent in the context of sexual assault has been thoroughly analyzed by the courts and relevant caselaw.  Implied consent or silence is generally not a defence to an allegation of sexual assault, but a mistaken belief in consent can often arise as a defence.

Is Consent Always a Defence?

Depending on the age of the complainant, even if consent was obtained, it may not be a defence that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge. The Criminal Code provides a range of situation where consent may be a defence, depending on the both the age of the complainant and accused. Generally if the complainant is under the age of 16, it is not a defence that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

Can a Self-Represented Accused Cross-Examine the Witness?

Where the witness is under the age of 18 or where the accused is being prosecuted for criminal harassment, on an application, the accused shall not personally cross-examine the witness who is under 18 or the complainant of the criminal harassment allegation.

Can a Spouse be Compelled to Testify Against the Accused?

For the prosecution, the spouse of the accused is generally neither competent nor compellable unless an exception to the spousal incompetency rule applies. The applicability of this rule is determined by the marital status of the accused and the spouse at the time the witness is required to testify.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623

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