By Layo Adeusi and Richard J. Aitken
A sexual assault conviction in Ontario carries with it significant consequences. In addition to hefty custodial sentences, there are a number of other effects that a conviction of this nature brings. If you are charged with sexual assault in Peterborough, maximum penalties depend on the category of sexual offence.
Level 1 Sexual Assault
This is any assault of a sexual nature. It is defined in section 271 of the Canadian Criminal Code. Level one assaults may include some minor injuries to the victim and also includes verbal harassment. The maximum sentence for this offence is 6 months in jail with a $2,000 fine on summary conviction, or 10 years in prison with indictment.
Level 2 Sexual Assault
This involves a sexual assault which includes the use of a weapon or threats made against a third party, or where serious bodily harm takes place. It carries with it a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison with indictment.
Level 3 or Aggravated Sexual Assault
This is the most serious form of the offence. With maximum penalties of 25 years to life imprisonment. This type of offence often results in gravely serious injuries to the victim such as severe wounding, maiming, or disfigurement.
Each case is unique as will be decided based on its own merits. Some factors, aggravating and mitigating, may affect sentencing.
- Several aggravating factors can affect any sentence that may be imposed.
- The age of the parties
- Whether illicit substances were involved
- Use of a weapon
- Any violence or threats used
- The accused has a prior record for a similar sort of offence
- Guilty plea
- Cooperation with the police
- No prior criminal record
Employment and Volunteer Consequences
Any criminal conviction may affect your employment status. If you are required to serve a custodial sentence, this can affect your job as you would not be able to work for the duration of your sentence. Some conditions of your sentence may include staying away from certain places where children or people in vulnerable positions may frequent, such as schools or parks.
National Sex Offenders Registry
A conviction of sexual assault will likely result in the requirement to register with the National Sex Offenders Registry in accordance with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act 2004. You will be required to provide your information including your address, place of employment, and physical description. Access to the registry is only given to police services in order to effectively prevent and respond to crimes of a sexual nature.
The Aitken Robertson team of lawyers are equipped to take on your case. An accusation is not the same as guilt, however it can carry some harmful social consequences. It is paramount that you enlist the services of a lawyer who can help you mitigate any damaging effects and achieve the best possible result for you. If you have been charged with sexual assault in Peterborough or the surrounding area, please contact our office at 705-742-0440.