Sexual assault is a plague that has infected every social and economic class all over the world. Many assume that a victim is always a woman, but those who are victimized can be male or female. Also, the person committing the assault can be of the same sex as the victim. A spouse can be charged with sexually assaulting the other spouse. As you can see, there are many forms and facets to this crime. Cases of abuse characteristically include an abuse of power or the need to establish an authoritative position.
The Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the act itself is a violation of the sexual integrity of the victim. Therefore, contact with a specific part of the body does not necessarily determine whether a sexual assault has occurred. For example, the brief touching of another person’s leg or buttocks over their clothes may or may not constitute a sexual assault depending on the factual situation and circumstances. However, a non-consensual intentional touching of another person’s genital organs clearly constitutes a sexual assault. Each factual situation has to be carefully examined to determine whether a sexual assault has taken place. Some of the factors to consider whether a particular act is a sexual assault would include the body part touched, the nature of the touching and any other conduct or words spoken which imply a sexual context.
Investigators focusing on sexual assault look for certain elements of a case:
- The nature of the contact
- The circumstances under which the contact transpired
- Gestures and words that accompanied the act
- The part of the body involved
- Threats accompanied (or not accompanied) by force
- Any other situation included in the assault
Forms of Sexual Abuse
The legal definition of “sexual abuse” or “sexually related crimes” is commonly understood to encompass unwanted contact of a sexual nature. In addition to unwanted sexual fondling and touching, it also includes:
- Showing explicit sexual images to a child
- Exposing children to pornography
- Various crimes involving possession or distribution of child pornography;
- Taking inappropriate pictures of a child for distribution or personal use
- Asking a minor to take inappropriate pictures of themselves
- Luring a child
- Indecent acts or indecent exposure
- Unwanted oral sex or sexual intercourse
What is the Punishment in Canada for Committing a Sexual Assault?
Those who commit the act of sexual assault are guilty of:
- An indictable crime for which they will face a prison term not to exceed 10 years; or
- A offence punishable summary conviction, for which the prison term will not exceed 18 months
If an indictable sexual assault is committed against a complainant under the age of 16 years, the maximum prison term is 14 years and the mandatory minimum is one year. If the crown elects to proceed summarily on a sexual assault charge and the complainant is under the age of 16 years, the maximum prison term is two years less a day and the mandatory minimum is six months.
In regard to sexual assault cases, the offence is considered to be more serious with lengthier jail terms if the offender:
- Causes bodily harm to the complainant
- Participates in the offence with another person
- Carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon to carry out the assault
If a firearm is used in the crime, the guilty party can face up to a 14 year prison term with a mandatory minimum 4 year jail term.
Retain a Lawyer in Ontario Who Focuses on Defending Sexual Assault and Sexually Related Crimes
The lawyers at Kruse Law have extensive experience defending the full spectrum of sexual assault matters and sexual crimes. Kruse Law has a consistent track record of winning sexual assault trials and obtaining the best result possible for clients who choose to plead guilty. We will leave no stone unturned in defending you and do whatever it takes to win your case within the bounds of ethics and the rules of the courts.
If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault or a sexually related crime, contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or call us toll free+1-800-699-0806. The call is free and you have nothing to lose. We will provide you with some basic legal advice regarding the court process and guidance regarding your case.