The Kruse Law Firm has all the knowledge and experience you need in a team of expert criminal lawyers who can build a strong defence in your favor. The team has the expertise and drive needed to defend you against sexual assault charges and will provide you with the peace of mind that you are in good hands during your sexual assault case.

The owner of the Kruse Law Firm and criminal lawyer, Michael Kruse, has over 35 years of criminal trial experience and is a distinguished criminal defence lawyer who has successfully represented countless clients against sexual assault charges and related sexual offences. He and his team of criminal lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure that you are treated fairly every step of the way.


What a Toronto Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Do for You

If you are facing a sexual assault charge, it is a very serious matter that requires immediate attention. You will want to consult with a Toronto sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. You should know what sexual assault charges mean and understand the severity of the situation.


How Sexual Assault Lawyers Defend & Support You

Comprehensive Case Evaluation

  • Understanding the Charges: An experienced criminal defence lawyer will first help you understand the specific charges against you, whether it’s sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual interference, invitation to sexual counselling, sexual exploitation, sexual violence,  sex crimes, or any related sexual offence. They will explain the potential consequences and the legal processes ahead – including the interpretation of the Canadian Criminal Code and how they will be able to defend you in court.
  • Analyzing Evidence: Your lawyer will review the evidence presented against you, looking for inconsistencies or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. This includes evaluating the complainant’s allegations, any physical evidence, and witness statements to build a strong defence.

Legal Strategy and Defence

  • Crafting a Defence Strategy: Based on their assessment, your sexual assault defence lawyer will develop a tailored strategy that may involve challenging the credibility and reliability of the complainant, questioning the legality of evidence collection (to respect your constitutional rights), and presenting alternative narratives.
  • Defending Sexual Assault Charges: Strategies might include demonstrating an honest but mistaken belief in consent, if applicable, or highlighting the absence of intent. For more complex scenarios, like accusations of sexual exploitation, child luring, child pornography, sexual assault within relationships, a lawyer will craft specific strategies that are effective in all the circumstances regarding your specific charges. .

Trial Advocacy and Negotiation

  • Expertise in Trial Proceedings: A skilled sexual assault lawyer will know the nuances of trial processes. From selecting favorable jurors to cross-examining witnesses and presenting compelling factual and legal arguments, their trial advocacy can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
  • Negotiation: In cases where the evidence against the accused is overwhelming and the charges are not defendable, an experienced lawyer might negotiate a plea deal to reduce charges or argue for a lighter sentence, focusing on your good character and background,  rehabilitation and mitigating circumstances.

Long-Term Consequences

  • Addressing Potential Outcomes: A conviction can lead to serious long-term consequences, including lengthy imprisonment, loss of employment, inability to find future employment,  being listed on the sex offender registry, and a permanent criminal record for the accused person. A sexual assault lawyer will work tirelessly to prevent these outcomes or minimize their impact.


What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a serious crime that involves violating a victim by sexual means. It entails inappropriate sexual touching that is usually forceful and always against the victim’s wishes and consent. The crime is of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim. It can also include the perpetrator using threats or a weapon to coerce the victim. The perpetrator can be of either gender, and the victim can be of either gender. A person can also be charged with sexual assault against their spouse.

Definitions Of Sexual Assault

  • Non-Consensual Contact: Any unwanted sexual contact like touching or activity without explicit consent from the victim.
  • Physical Assaults: Groping and unwanted sexual contact and touching to rape, where physical force or the threat of force is used.
  • Psychological Assaults: Coercion, manipulation, threats, or other non-physical means to force or intimidate a victim into sexual activity.
  • Technology-Facilitated Assaults: Includes non-consensual sharing of intimate images, cyber harassment, and exploitation through digital means.
  • Consent:
    • Must be affirmative, ongoing, and freely given without the influence of drugs, alcohol, or intimidation.
    • Cannot be given by individuals below the legal age of consent.
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault: A more severe form of sexual assault that results in wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim through sexual acts.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Under s. 153 of the Criminal Code,  sexual exploitation occurs when a person is in a position of trust,  authority towards a young person and engages in sexual activity with them, even if there is apparent consent.  A “young person” is defined as a minor who is 16 years old  or over, but under 18 years old. This section is designed to protect children in situations where they are in a position of vulnerability or weakness.  Examples of this offence would be a coach or teacher having sex with one of their young athletes or students, or a parent having sex with their 17 year old daughter.
  • Marital or Spousal Sexual Assault: A common misconception is that a person cannot be charged with sexually assaulting their spouse or intimate partner. The police can and will lay sexual assault charges where the alleged victim is a spouse or intimate partner. Consent must be present in all forms of sexual activity, regardless of relationship status.
  • Sexual Integrity: Refers to the right of every individual to control over their own body and to make autonomous decisions about engaging in sexual activity.


Consequences of Sexual Assault

A person convicted of sexual assault in Toronto can expect to receive a jail term ranging from a few months to many years in jail and possibly even life imprisonment depending on the nature of the sexual assault. A jail term might only be avoided for minor sexual assaults, such as intentional sexual touching of a person’s buttock in a bar. The current range of sentence in Ontario for a typical non-aggravated date rape charge where the victim was not physically injured,  is two to three years in jail and seems to be expanding over time. For a more aggravated sexual assault, the jail terms can range from four to ten years or more in the penitentiary.

If a victim is 16 or older, the maximum penalty for sexual assault  is ten years in jail. If the victim is under 16, there are mandatory minimum jail terms, and the accused could receive a maximum of 14 years in jail. For sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, or sexual exploitation case, there are also mandatory minimum jail terms and a maximum jail term of 14 years in the penitentiary.

If you are convicted of sexual assault, you will be put on the National Sex Offender Registry, which can negatively affect your personal and professional life indefinitely.

Consequences Overview of Sexual Assault Conviction

  • Legal Penalties:
    • Jail time 
    • Mandatory registration on the National Sex Offender Registry.
    • Travel restrictions
  • Personal and Social Relationships:
    • Strained or broken relationships with family and friends.
    • Social stigma and isolation
  • Employment and Education:
    • Difficulty securing employment, particularly in roles requiring background checks.
    • Possible expulsion from educational institutions or denial of admission.
    • Loss of professional licenses
  • Psychological Impact:
    • Increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
    • Long term emotional distress, including feelings of shame, guilt, and anger.
  • Financial Strain:
    • Legal fees
    • Loss of income due to inability to work
  • Reputation and Privacy:
    • Damage to reputation, with lasting effects on personal and professional life.
    • Loss of privacy, as cases may become public, affecting victim and person accused


The Role of a Toronto Sexual Assault Lawyer

Our goal is to assess your case and develop a fact-based strategy to protect your freedom and reputation. In most sexual assault cases we use proven trial advocacy tactics to:

  • Assess the complainant’s reliability and credibility and any possible motives or reasons for them to lie with a view to creating reasonable doubt at your trial 
  • Identify any inconsistencies or improbabilities in the alleged victim’s version of events
  • Examine if your constitutional rights have been respected
  • Provide a viable trial strategy
  • Prepare you to testify at a sexual assault trial to establish reasonable doubt
  • Cross-examine the complainant and any other prosecution witnesses to undermine or weaken their credibility and reliability and create reasonable doubt
  • Make compelling factual and legal  arguments to a judge or jury regarding why you should be found not guilty

Assuming you wish to resolve your case or plead guilty, we will effectively negotiate the lightest possible sentence based on your background and the facts of your case. We believe that everyone deserves the best possible legal representation, no matter whether you are innocent or admit that you have committed a crime.


Why You Should Retain Us

If you have been arrested and charged with sexual assault in Toronto, you need the immediate assistance of an experienced sexual assault lawyer. The criminal justice system is Ontario is very complex.  Do not hesitate to contact our team of skilled criminal lawyers at the Kruse Law Firm. Don’t risk your future, family, employment, or freedom by representing yourself.

The skilled lawyers at the Kruse Law Firm in Toronto will be happy to meet with you to discuss your options regarding your case. We will listen to your side of things and advise you about the law and how your case will proceed through the court system and explain  how we will effectively guide you through every step of the process.  Our lawyers know the ins and outs of our complex criminal legal system and the law pertaining to sexual assault. We will fight to protect your rights every step of the way and achieve the best possible results for you.


Sexual Assault FAQ

How does the law define consent in sexual assault cases?

Consent means agreeing voluntarily to participate in sexual activity. The Criminal Code clarifies that there can be no consent from someone who is unconscious or incapable of consenting. The law also addresses situations of consent obtained through abuse of power or trust.

What should I do if I am accused of sexual assault in Toronto?

If you are facing a sexual assault allegation, it is important to refrain from discussing the case with anyone, especially on social media, and to contact an experienced sexual assault lawyer in Toronto immediately. Your experienced criminal lawyer will guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.

What are the potential consequences of a sexual assault conviction?

Consequences of a sexual assault conviction can include jail time, being listed on the Sex Offender registry, a criminal record, and significant impacts on your personal and professional life. The severity of the consequences typically depends on the nature of the offence.

How can a Toronto sexual assault lawyer help me?

A skilled sexual assault lawyer can defend you by challenging the prosecution’s evidence, presenting a strong defence strategy, negotiating to withdraw the criminal charges, or advocate for a lesser charge or sentence if appropriate, and provide support and guidance throughout the legal process.

What is “honest but mistaken belief” in communicated consent?

This defence argues that the accused genuinely believed the complainant consented to the sexual conduct at the time it occurred.

Can the complainant’s prior sexual history be used in my defence?

Generally, the complainant’s prior sexual history is not admissible to challenge their credibility. There are very strict rules governing if and when the alleged victim’s past sexual history can be considered by a judge or jury at your trial.

What is aggravated sexual assault?

Aggravated sexual assault is a more serious charge that involves wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the complainant during the sexual activity. This carries much more severe penalties.

How long do I have to file a defence if charged with sexual assault?

There are no specific deadlines to file a defence, but acting quickly is very important. Early intervention by a lawyer can affect evidence collection, pre-trial procedures, and strategy. Contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible after being charged or learning that you are under investigation by the police.

Can I be charged with sexual assault if the alleged victim is my spouse?

Yes, you can be charged with sexual assault even if the alleged victim is your spouse or intimate partner. Canadian law recognizes that marital or relationship status does not imply automatic consent to any sexual intercourse or activity.

Will my case go to trial?

Not all sexual assault cases go to trial. Some may be resolved through negotiations or alternative measures. Whether your case goes to trial depends on various factors, including the evidence available, the prosecution’s and defence’s strategies, and your decisions based on legal advice.

What role does the Crown Attorney play in a sexual assault case?

The Crown Attorney represents the prosecution in sexual assault cases, presenting evidence against the accused in court to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

How are sexual assault cases classified in court?

Sexual assault cases can be classified as either a summary conviction offence for less severe charges which are handled in the Ontario Court of Justice, or as an indictable offence for more serious cases, which may be tried in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice

What is the difference between the Superior Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Canada in sexual assault cases?

The Superior Court is where serious criminal cases, including indictable sexual assault offences, are initially tried. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court for appeals, including appeals in sexual assault cases on factual or legal grounds.

Are there mandatory sentences for certain sexual offences in Canada?

Yes, certain sexual offences, including some forms of sexual assault, carry mandatory minimum sentences, determined by the nature of the offence and its circumstances. If convicted:

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault: Mandatory minimum of 5 years for a first offence in certain situations such as if the victim is under 16 years old.
  • Sexual Assault with a Weapon: Mandatory minimum of 4 or 5 years in jail in certain situations.  For example, if the victim is under 16 years in jail,  the accused will face 5 or more years in jail. .
  • Sexual Interference: Mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days if the Crown elects by indictment and 1 year in jail  if the Crown elects to proceed summarily. 
  • Invitation to Sexual Touching: Mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days if the Crown elects by indictment and 1 year in jail if the Crown elects to proceed summarily.

What happens if I am found guilty?

If found guilty, the court will determine your sentence based on factors such as the nature and severity of the offence, your criminal offence history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.


Free Consultation

If you are facing a criminal accusation, contact Kruse Law Firm by phone or fill in the form at your earliest convenience to receive a free consultation.

One of our criminal defence lawyers will meet with you and give you the preliminary legal advice you need for free. You are not under any obligation to hire us, but we will provide you with vital advice that can help you make the best decision in your case.

Kruse Law Firm operates out of our offices in Toronto, Kitchener, London and Windsor to assist clients throughout Ontario.

By Published On: August 10, 2023Last Updated: April 1, 2024Categories: Sexual Assault, Toronto

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