The term “sexual assault” is used to refer to all incidents of unwanted contact of a sexual nature. Its scope encompasses more than just sexual intercourse that is non-consensual. Unwelcome fondling, kissing, touching and oral sex are also considered to be sexual assaults.
To determine if the contact is sexual, courts examine the entirety of the circumstances, including physical gestures accompanying the act, the area of the body touched, words that were said, the motivation of the accused and the setting in which the event occurred.
The Definition of Sexual Assault According to the Criminal Code
Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada further explains the definition of assault. According to the Code, an individual is committing assault when they:
- Apply force intentionally to another individual indirectly or directly without the consent of the other person;
- Threaten or attempt to use force over another individual by gesture or act and that threat or attempt causes the other person to reasonably believe the accused has the ability to carry out their intention;
- An individual impedes or accosts another person while openly carrying or wearing a weapon or an imitation of a weapon
This section of the Code is applicable to all types of assault including assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault.
Consent is not obtained when an individual submits as the result of intimidation or the application of force. Application of force can be exercised through:
- Threats to the complainant or someone other than the complainant
- Fear of the use of force experienced by the complainant
- The use of an authoritative position
Charges Related to Sexual Assault
Under the Criminal Code, there are several sexual offences a person can commit other than sexual assault. An experienced sexual assault defence lawyer in Toronto, Kitchener, London or Windsor can inform you of other related sexual offences in addition to the ones listed below:
- Child pornography is accessing, possessing, or distributing sexually suggestive or graphic photos or videos of anyone under 18 years of age.
- An invitation to sexual touching consists of counselling or inciting a person who is under 16 years old to indirectly or directly touch the body of another person.
- Sexual Exploitation includes when a person in a position of trust or authority towards a young person (such as a parent or school teacher) touches the young person for a sexual purpose.
- Luring is using a computer, phone, or other telecommunication system to communicate with someone believed to be under 18 years old in order to exercise an offence under the Criminal Code. Different offences apply depending on the age of the minor involved.
- Bestiality is penetrating an animal vaginally or anally.
Sexual Assault Defence Lawyers in Toronto, Kitchener, London or Windsor
If you are facing charges of sexual assault or any type of sexual crime, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal lawyer before talking to authorities even if you believe you are innocent. A skilled sexual assault defence lawyer can provide you with the necessary advice and information about your case so you know your rights. You do not want anything you do or say to be used against you in your case.
The court system in Canada takes the matter of sexual assault very seriously. The police will generally charge you with sexual assault based on the word of a complainant alone, even though there is no other physical evidence