Charged with Sexual Interference
If you or someone you know has been charged with Sexual Interference or any form of sex related offences, they should speak with our Criminal Defence Lawyers. All is not lost, there are defences available. We have successfully defended “sexual interference” and other sex related charges numerous times. Call us for the advice, guidance and assistance you need. Our experienced Criminal Defense team can help.
- Should you speak to the police (or anyone else for that matter) if you are under investigation or charged with for sexual interference?
- What constitutes sexual interference?
- Is there are time limitation to sexual interference charges?
- Is it more difficult for the Crown to prove a historical allegation of sexual interference?
- Is the testimony of a young person more credible in cases of sexual interference?
- Is consent a defence to a charge of sexual interference?
- When is consent a defence to the charge of sexual interference?
- Does a conviction of Sexual interference require mandatory registration on the Sex Registry for Canada (SOIRA) and Ontario?
- What if the accused was mistaken as to the age of the complainant in a case alleging sexual interference?
- Sentencing in Sexual Interference case.
The Basics: Things you need to know about the charge of sexual interference.
With respect to discussing the allegations of sexual interference with the police the general answer is no. What you say can be used against you in a court of law. However, if you consult with a lawyer first and the lawyer is able to review the allegations of the sexual interference charge with you and the police, sometimes (but rarely) it may be in your interest to provide a statement to the police. We have on a few occasions given this advice and avoided my client being charged with sexual interference at all. There is no point in discussing the issue with family or friends. Whatever you say to them can be repeated in sexual interference trial evidence against you.
Sexual interference is defined as any touching of any kind with a person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose.
The simple answer is “no”. There is no time limitation on sexual interference charges. However, if the offence is alleged to have taken place over 6 months prior to the charge being laid, the Crown must proceed by indictment. This process is far more serious than proceedings by summary conviction. Defence counsel in some cases can negotiate with the Crown (with the consent of the defense and Crown) for the prosecution of the sexual interference charge to proceed by way of summary conviction. The difference between proceeding by indictment and proceeding by way of summary conviction is similar to the terms in the United States -felony as opposed to a misdemeanor.
There are numerous cases of sexual interference where the charges arise from allegations made months, years and sometimes decades into the past. It is much more difficult to prove historical sexual interference cases as they will often reduce to a she said/he said scenario. The crown must prove all charges of sexual interference beyond reasonable doubt and without compelling reasons to believe the complainant over the defendant, the Court will have to find the accused not guilty.
No. Just because the complainant is young does not make their testimony more credible in sexual interference trials. There is no basis in law to conclude evidence is more reliable because of the age of the person testifying. This is particularly true in cases alleging sexual interference.
Consent is generally not a defence to the charge of sexual interference. The age of consent in most cases alleging sexual interference is 16.
There are exceptions to the general rule that consent is not a defence to a charge of sexual interference. Those exceptions are set out in the Criminal Code under section 150.
The issue of consent is a viable defence to a charge of sexual interference charges under the following circumstances.
Section 150.1(2) of the Criminal Code states that where the complainant is aged 12 or 13 and the accused is less than 2 years older than the complainant and is not in a position of trust or authority consent is a defence to the charge of sexual interference;
Section 150.1(2.1) of the Criminal Code states that where the complainant is aged 14 or 15 and the accused is less than five years older than the complainant and the accused is not in a position of trust or authority vis-à-vis the complainant, or is not a person upon whom the complainant is dependent, nor is the complainant in a relationship with the accused that is exploitative then consent is a viable defence to the charge of sexual interference.
Section 150.1(3) states that no one aged 12 or 13 shall be tried for an offence of sexual interference unless that persons is in a position of authority or trust over the complainant.
Yes, if convicted of sexual interference, the accused is required to register on both SOIRA and the Ontario Sex Registry. The amount of time the accused is required to remain on the registry is dependent upon a number of factors, for example did the Crown proceed by indictment or summary conviction.
The defence that the accused believed the complainant to be older is available in cases of sexual interference, but it is limited to those cases where the accused can prove that all reasonable steps were taken to ascertain the age of the complaint.
The minimum sentence regime in the Criminal Code with respect to sexual interference convictions has been struck down as being unconstitutional. However, although jail is no longer mandatory by law, jail remains a distinct possibility in all cases of sexual interference. Probation is also probable order of the Court if a conviction for sexual interference is rendered. In addition the Court will likely make an order under s. 161 of the Criminal Code which will restrict access to places where children under 16 are likely to be found – parks, community centers, schools etc. in all cases involving a conviction for sexual interference.
If you or someone you know if being investigated for, or is charged with sexual interference give us a call to provide you further detail as to the law. 416-627-1318. We provide a free initial consultation.