Sexual interference involves sexual contact of any kind between an adult and an individual under the age of consent. Those charged with sexual interference face significant prison sentences upon conviction and will be placed on the federal sex offender registry for a minimum of ten years. As a result of the significant consequences that will result from a conviction for sexual interference, it is important to have an experienced trial lawyer assisting you with the case. Sexual offences, especially those involving children, are prosecuted aggressively by the Crown Attorney’s office in Windsor. Given the strong public interest in prosecution and reputation damage, requesting a publication ban may be an option.

At Donich Law we have a team of experienced trial lawyers and have devoted a significant portion of our practice to defending those charged with sexual interference and other sexual offences involving children.

In 2021, the Firm represented an individual charged with invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference in R. v. A.E. [2019]. The charges stemmed from historical allegations dating back to 1985 when the accused was a youth. After litigating the matter for more than a year, the Firm was able to prove that the complainant had fabricated the allegations in an attempt to gain control of family inheritance money.

In 2018, the Firm defended an accused charged with eleven counts of sexual interference and sexual assault in R. v. C.Z. [2018]. The Firm engaged in months of pre-trial negotiations with the Crown and was ultimately able to prove that the allegations had been fabricated during a family dispute.

In 2018, the Firm represented an accused charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching in R. v. D.D. [2018]. After a trial in youth court the accused was acquitted of all charges.

In 2017, the Firm represented an accused charged with sexual interference and sexual assault after allegedly assaulting another individual in 1977. The Firm litigated the matter for more than three years, ultimately securing a withdrawal of the charges.

In 2015, the Firm defended an individual charged with two counts of sexual assault in R. v. K.C. [2015] and ultimately secured a withdrawal of both charges. Click here to know more about defending sexual interference.

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 will Happen if I am Charged with Sexual Interference in Windsor?
What if there is no Evidence in the Case?
Sentencing for Sexual Interference in Windsor

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 will Happen if I am Charged with Sexual Interference in Windsor?

As outlined above, the offence of sexual interference involves an adult having sexual contact with an individual under the age of consent. In Canada, an individual under the age of consent is legally unable to consent to sexual activity. This means that even if the young person was agreeable to the sexual contact, from a legal perspective their consent is not valid.

In cases of sexual interference, the allegations will generally come to the attention of the police through a witness or victim report. Once the police receive credible information that suggests that an accused committed sexual interference, they will arrest the accused and formally charge them.

Once charges have been laid the police will continue to gather relevant information and the file will be passed along to the Crown Attorney’s office for prosecution. The police will interview the complainant as well as anyone else who may have information about the alleged incident. The police may interview people who may have been around at the time of the alleged incident, even if these individuals did not actually witness the alleged abuse.

For example, in a case involving allegations of a family member abusing a child, other people living in the home at the time may be able to add context to the situation within the home. This evidence may be used to demonstrate that the accused had access and opportunity to commit the offence(s) as alleged.

The Crown will compile all evidence collected in the case into what is known as disclosure. The Crown is under a legal obligation to provide the accused and their legal counsel with full disclosure. Disclosure will provide the accused and their counsel with a full understanding of the case to meet.

What if there is no Evidence in the Case?

In many cases, those charged with sexual interference are under the false impression that they cannot be convicted if there is “no evidence”. In reality, the only evidence needed to convict an individual of sexual interference is the statement and testimony of the complainant. In the majority of cases involving sexual offences, there are not third-party witnesses or DNA evidence.

This means that if the complainant’s story is believed by the court, beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused will be convicted regardless of whether there is independent evidence to corroborate the complainant’s story.

At trial, counsel for the defendant will have the opportunity to cross-examine the complainant. This allows the defence to point out any inconsistencies in the complainant’s statement and to advance the defence’s theory of the case. If defence counsel is able to expose material inconsistencies in the complainant’s testimony the court will not convict the accused.

Sentencing for Sexual Interference in Windsor

Sexual interference is among the most serious offences outlined in the Criminal Code, and convictions come with some of the most severe penalties. Depending on the election made by the Crown (indictable or summarily), the accused may face a maximum of fourteen years in prison.

In recent years there has been a marked shift in sentencing for those convicted of sexual offences involving children, including sexual interference. The Supreme Court of Canada has opined that the average sentence for those convicted of sexual interference or other sexual offences involving children should increase to reflect the severity of these types of offences.

The Court reasoned that with the maximum penalty for sexual interference being fourteen years imprisonment, the average sentences should be in the range of upper single digit to lower double digit prison sentences. This is a marked increase from the average sentence being imposed as recently as the 2010’s, when sentences were routinely as low at two years imprisonment.

When determining the appropriate sentence to impose on an individual convicted of sexual interference in Windsor, the court must consider the Supreme Court decision and take that into account. The court will also rely on the facts of the case, the criminal history of the accused, the circumstances under which the offence was committed and mitigating and aggravating factors.

Quick Facts

What if there is no Evidence?

There is no requirement that the Crown produce “real” evidence such as DNA evidence to convict an accused for sexual interference. The testimony of witnesses including the complainant alone is often enough for a conviction.

What if the Alleged Incident Occurred many Years Ago?

The Crown can prosecute an individual for sexual interference even decades after the alleged incident occurred. Where the Crown proceeds by indictment in a case, there is no statute of limitations, meaning charges can be laid at any time.

What is the Average Sentencing Range for Sexual Interference?

The Supreme Court has recently stated that the average sentence for an individual convicted of sexual interference should between an upper single digit prison sentence to a lower double digit prison sentence.

How long will I be placed on the Sex Offender Registry for?

Those convicted of sexual interference will be issued a SOIRA order when they are sentenced. This order will require the offender to register as a sex offender with the federal government for a minimum of ten years.

Can I be Removed from the Sex Offender Registry prior to the Ten-Year Mark?

In some cases, yes. An offender who has been placed on the federal sex offender registry may apply to have the order terminated. The courts will only agree to terminate a SOIRA order is rare circumstances.

Can I get a Pardon for my Sexual Interference Conviction?

As a general rule, the Parole Board will not agree to grant a pardon or record suspension to an individual convicted of sexual interference. Sexual offence convictions will generally remain on an individual's criminal record for life.

What if the Complainant does not want to Cooperate with the case?

After a complainant has made allegations of sexual interference to the police and charges have been laid, the Crown may be able to proceed with a case against the accused even where the complainant is not cooperative. The Crown will not agree to drop charges because a complainant asks them to do so.

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