Sexual assault cases are treated seriously under Canadian law. Sexual assault is viewed as a rather egregious violation of the victim’s sexual integrity. Sexual assault convictions have harsher penalties than assault cases.
Sexual assault is categorized according to the serious aggravating factors that accompany the commission of the offence. The basic sexual assault charge is defined as an assault that involves the violation of the victim’s sexual integrity. The maximum penalty for this offence is 6 months in jail along with a $2,000 fine on summary conviction (less serious), or 10 years in prison with on an indictment (more serious).
Sexual assault with a weapon, third party threats or that cause serious bodily harm carries harsher penalties. The maximum penalty for this offence carries a 14-year prison sentence with indictment.
Aggravated sexual assault is considered to be the most serious form of sexual assault and is treated accordingly in terms of the corresponding punishment. This type of sexual assault involves severely wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim. The maximum penalty for this offence in Canada is 25 years to life imprisonment. Other serious sexual assault cases are ones that involve children.
Sexual exploitation is committed when a person of authority leverages their authority over a victim in order to coerce them into sexual activity. Examples of positions of authority include teachers, various sport and academic coaches, ministers/priests, professionals and bosses. The Criminal Code lists the various factors to be considered in these types of cases in order to determine if the accused held measurable authority over the victim. Factors such as the age difference between the victim and accused, the evolution of the relationship, and the degree of control and manipulation the accused had over the victim are all considered in determining the conviction and subsequent sentencing. For example, a teacher or doctor would be considered as having a very high degree of control over a victim. The minimum penalty for sexual exploitation in Canada is imprisonment for 1 year and not more than 10 years with indictment.
Sexual interference refers to when a person under the age of consent (16) is touched in a sexual manner. A conviction of this offence leads to a minimum of 90 days in jail, with a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment if the Crown proceeds by indictment.
Invitation to Sexual Touching is another sexual assault related offence. This offence occurs when someone invites a person under the age of 16 to touch their body, or an object to their body, in a sexual manner. The minimum sentence for this offence in Ontario is 90 days in jail, with the maximum being 14 years in prison if the Crown proceeds by indictment.
Contact the Aitken Robertson Experienced Criminal Defence Team for Assistance
If you have been charged with a sexual assault offence, it is critical that you retain the services of a criminal defence lawyer. Your liberty and future is at risk. The criminal record that results from a conviction will follow you and prevent you from many opportunities such as a way to make a living. You will also be required to register to the federal government’s sexual offenders’ database once every year. If you have been charged with one of the above-mentioned offences call our office to set up your free 30-minute consultation to learn about how we would approach your case and defend your charge.