Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

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Sexual assault allegations are some of the most damaging charges that one can face in Canada. This type of assault entails acts of sexual overtone, sexual or carnal context, touching, including unwanted grabbing and rape. Sexual charges are complex and require the expertise of an experienced criminal lawyer in handling sexual assault cases and related cases.

Toronto Criminal Lawyers Defend Sexual Assault Charges

Zamani Law is a premier criminal defence firm in Toronto with relevant experience, tools, and resources to defend persons charged with sexual assault. Unlike other assault-related charges, sexual abuse accusations are tried differently, and they carry other monumental consequences apart from the usual incarceration penalties. The extra repercussions include inclusion in the Sex Offender Registry, social stigma, DNA orders, employment restrictions, and more. Our Toronto sexual assault lawyers understand that when facing sexual offence charges, your freedom and character are at stake. This is why, in conjunction with other legal professionals, they dedicate their expertise to defend you and attain the best possible results.

Our lawyers regularly defend sexual assault allegations in the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area. If you, or someone you know, are charged with sexual assault, contact Zamani Law’s Toronto sexual assault lawyer for exceptional representation.

Types of Sexual Offences

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation entails actual or attempted use of a position of power, vulnerability, or trust for sexual purposes. This includes sexual contact with a person between the age of 16 to 18 years by an adult in a position of power, such as a teacher or employer. If you or your loved one are charged with sexual exploitation, reach out to Zamani Law. We’ll analyze all aspects of the sexual assault case, including the available evidence and statements, and devise a strong, effective defence strategy to defend you in a sexual assault case.

Sexual Interference

Sexual interference charges involve sexually touching a part of the body of a minor under 16 years old, either directly or indirectly, for a sexual purpose. Note that the age of consent was changed from 14 to 16 in 2008. A sexual interference charge can ruin your life. If charged, don’t hesitate to retain an expert criminal lawyer. They’ll thoroughly analyze the charges, build a strong defence, and fight to protect your rights, liberties, and character.

Invitation to Sexual Touching

An invitation to sexual touching involves asking, inciting, or compelling a minor under the age of 16 to touch, directly or indirectly, the body of another person in a sexual nature. Note that you can get charged even if the minor you invite to touch another person does not engage in the act. These charges are serious and carry mandatory minimum sentences, including mandatory minimum incarceration of one year. If you’re charged with an invitation to sexual touching, seek the services of an experienced and dedicated criminal lawyer to protect your rights and freedoms.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Aggravated sexual assault includes any sexual assault offence involving wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering another person’s life. These are the most serious sex crimes, and they carry a mandatory minimum jail term of five years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. All aggravated sexual assault charges are indictable offences. This makes them more complex, and, therefore, they require a well-versed lawyer to mitigate the charges and attain a favourable outcome.

Child Pornography

These charges entail the production, possession, or distribution of videos, pictures, and literature that depict persons under 18 years old who are involved in sexual activities. Child pornography crimes are serious, and they carry severe penalties upon conviction, including mandatory minimum jail terms. Other consequences of facing such charges include significant negative impacts on your personal and professional life. Zamani Law has successfully defended numerous clients facing child pornography charges. Contact a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto for a free assessment of your case.

Voyeurism

This is the secret observation or recording of unsuspecting persons involved in intimate activities for a sexual purpose in a place where the observed person expected reasonable privacy. These charges are new in Canada, and they were introduced to curb the use of new technology to spy on people for a sexual purpose. Voyeurism charges carry serious, life-altering consequences, including the addition to the sexual offender registry. If you’re facing voyeurism charges, you should seek the services of experienced lawyers in Toronto.

Contact Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyers in Toronto

At Zamani Law, we are well-versed with sexual-related charges and laws, and we have vast experience successfully representing the person accused of perpetrating such sexual offence cases.

If you, or someone you know, are facing any sexual offence charges, contact our experienced lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation. Any conversation held with us is private and completely confidential.

FAQs

Sexual assault is an offence in which a person intentionally touches, attempts or threatens to touch another person sexually without giving consent to sexual activity. Just like any other assault, the force applied can be subtle and violates the sexual integrity of the victim. Sexual assault ranges from sexual touching, hugging, fondling, grabbing, rape, sexual intercourse and more.

To determine whether an alleged assault was of sexual nature, the court or Judge utilizes a common-sense approach to examine the details of the alleged offence. Some of the details considered include:

  • The part of the body that the accused allegedly touched
  • The part of the body that the accused used to touch
  • The accused intent
  • The circumstances in which the alleged offence occurred
  • Words, threats, or gestures accompanying the conduct
  • Nature of the alleged contact
  • The presence or lack of sexual gratification

In the Criminal Code of Canada, sexual assault is defined in the larger concept of assault offences. According to section 265 of the Criminal Code, a person commits an assault, including sexual assault when:

  • They intentionally apply force to the complaint, directly or indirectly, without their consent to sexual activity, causing bodily harm.
  • they attempt, or threaten by act or gesture, to apply force on another person;
  • they cause the other person to believe on reasonable grounds that they have the ability to affect their purpose;
  • they beg or impede another person while openly carrying or wearing a weapon or an imitation of one.

Note that the definition applies to all forms of assaults, including all types of sexual assault offences.

For the purposes of this section, note that there is no consent obtained if the complainant submits by reason of:

  • application of force on the complainant or another person;
  • threats or fear of the use of force on the complainant or another person;
  • fraud; 
  • exercise of authority.

As stipulated in the Criminal Code, 16 is the age of consent in Canada. In other terms, once a person turns 16 years old, they can legally consent to sexual contact with another person.

Also, when a person is 12 or 13 years old, they can legally consent to have sexual contact with a person who is less than 2 years older than them, as long as this person:

  • does not hold any power or authority over them, such as a teacher,
  • is not someone they’re in a relationship of dependency with, and
  • is not exploiting the 12 or 13-year-old.

Also, a 14 or 15-year-old can legally consent to sexual contact with a person who is less than 5 years older than them, as long as this person:

  • is not in a position of trust or authority over the 14 or 15-year-old,
  • is not in a relationship of dependency with them,
  • is not exploiting the 14 or 15-year-old.

In Canada, minors under the age of 12 cannot legally consent to sexual contact with another person.

In the following situations, there is no consent:

  • the complainant is too intoxicated to give consent to the sexual activity
  • the complainant does not have the mental capacity to give consent
  • the complainant takes back consent by words or gestures and shows disinterest to continue on the previously consented sexual activity
  • the accused is in a position of authority, power, or trust
  • where consent is given by another person other than the complainant
  • the complainant is under the age of 16 (subject to close-in-age exception)

Convicted sexual assault offenders are registered in the National Sex Offenders Registry. The Sex Offender Registry is Canada's national database of all convicted sex offenders. The Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) was implemented to track and monitor individuals convicted of sexual offences in Canada and to help the police investigate and prevent sexual-related crimes.

For every convicted sexual assault offender, registration in the Sex Offenders Registry is mandatory. The period that one remains in the registry varies from 10 years to life, depending on the type of sexual assault.

Individuals registered in the Sex Offender Registry are required to provide the following information 15 days after their release and once a year thereafter:

  • Your current address
  • Place of employment
  • Any volunteer work you're involved in
  • Any association with schools
  • License plate and vehicle registration details

Supplemental reporting is required when there are any sudden changes in your life.

Sexual assault offences can be prosecuted by way of indictment, which carries up to 10 years in prison, or as a summary conviction, which carries a maximum of 18 months in prison. One can also face no prison time, fines, or probation.

Note that there are mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault convictions involving minors, i.e., 1 year for indictable offence and 6 months for summary conviction offences.

The way the prosecution prosecutes the allegation, and the sentence a judge renders, is depended on:

  • The type of sexual assault
  • The bodily harm inflicted on the victim
  • The amount of force used by the accused
  • The accused attitude towards the allegations
  • All the circumstances surrounding the offence
  • Previous criminal offence records
  • Other sentences imposed on similar charges
  • The overall picture painted to the society

A mistaken belief in consent is a scenario where the accused testifies and articulates that they honestly, but mistakenly, believed that consent to sexual activity was given and communicated through the complainant's actions, gestures, or words. As per the Criminal Code of Canada, mistaken belief in consent is not a viable defence in certain scenarios:

  • Self-induced intoxication
  • Willful blindness or recklessness
  • Where the accused does not take the necessary or reasonable steps to ascertain that the complainant was consenting

Sexual assault charges are based on three elements that the prosecution must prove in a sexual assault trial:

  • Intentional touching
  • That the contact was sexual in nature
  • There was an absence of consent to sexual activity.

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