I have a topic today for you that’s an important topic and many people are googling this topic in Canada. What is the average sentence for someone facing a sexual assault charge in Ontario? Well, that’s a pretty loaded question because sexual assault can range from a very minor incident involving say a fleeting touch of the buttocks or touch of a breast in a bar leading up to the most violent rape unfortunately of an underage girl. So I think it’s more appropriate to talk about the range of sentence for types of sexual activity.

So I’ll give some examples. So let’s talk about let’s talk about that buttock grab in a bar which unfortunately is a common scenario in Canada. That’s a sexual assault, a man fondles a girls buttocks for 4, 5, 6, 10 seconds in a bar. Typically for that type of offense, you’re probably facing anywhere from a conditional discharge, which means you would avoid a criminal record up to a slight possibility but a short jail term. I think in that scenario, you could probably avoid a jail term if your first time offender with no prior record and generally, otherwise lead a blameless life of good prior history. Got drunk one night and acted stupidly, you might get a suspended sentence you might get a fine but sometimes we can get a conditional discharge.

If we escalate up, breasts touching and fondling I mean, it really depends on the scenario but you could be facing a jail term for sure. In that scenario, depending on the context and depending hopefully have no prior record, you know, some degree of breast fondling let’s say a range of one to three months in jail, possibly. Depending on the level of it, maybe you could avoid a jail term or maybe not, but certainly the courts are thinking about a shorter jail term for that type of offence. And then we escalate, we get up to more serious fondling, digital penetration for example, oral sex, let’s talk about digital penetration. I think if a person charged with digital penetration. What’s the range of sentence in Ontario, maybe 12 months on the light side, probably 15, 18 up to two years less a day just outside the penitentiary.

Could use as a penitentiary term with over two year? You could but that’s kind of the wide range of Canada. Oral sex. Getting a little bit more serious that’s a pretty serious crime. They all are serious, even the buttock grabbing in a bar is quite serious.

Oral sex. You’re maybe looking at a penitentiary term of 2 years or more. A very common scenario unfortunately is your let’s call it a date rape involving person on a date or someone you know, it used to be the range of sentence for that was two years in the penitentiary up to three years although there was some cases 18 months outlier cases very young person with good prior history youthful, good prospect of rehabilitation, but that that range maybe probably appropriate is expanding.

I would say it’s going to be difficult to get to 2 years now in Ontario. The range is probably two and a half to three and a half years for that depending on the nature of the offense and the offender or maybe even up to four with certain judges but that might be a little harsh and then of course we have much more serious incidents of sexual assault involving sexual assault causing bodily harm that has a 14 year maximum sentence.

A first offender if there’s serious injuries, bodily harm, your certainly going to face you know three and a half four years and up depending on the nature of it. Aggravated sexual assault is where the person during sexual assault wounds, manes, disfigures causes very serious injury to the person. These are really heinous crimes and very serious and judges are going to throw that person in jail for many years. I mean, the range it’s up to a life sentence.

I mean, a person could face 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 years, depending on the level of severity. And of course, I’m talking about one victim cases we went through the full spectrum from more minor charges right up to the very serious now, what’s considered the most heinous and aggravated charges of course, so you have a man who sexually assaulting a minor.

We have offenses of sexual interference, invitation of sexual touching, and sexual exploitation. First of all, there’s mandatory minimums depending on whether it’s summary conviction or indictable, but the mandatory minimums are not high, there 90 days for summary conviction if they elect summarily, one year for indictable, believe me most people charged with those are going to get get more than that unless it’s the most minor incident you can imagine.

So, for example, a crime of stark horror involving a child and unfortunately, a man, a pedophile.

A rape, the person, quite rightfully so many years in jail like 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 years and depending on offence, and, of course, prior records, there’s the jump principal, a person’s got a prior record for this. It jumps up those ranges completely. I’m talking about first time offenders also if there’s multiple victims, so as we escalate up the scale for obviously, for minors you’re looking at many years in jail for the more serious crimes and but anyway, that’s te way we speak in Canada, we talk about range of sentences, there’s all this compendium of case law across Canada.

Each case depends on the facts. So when a client says to me, what am I facing? I have to know the facts.

We can’t just speak about an average of course Statistics Canada, we could come up with whatever the average is of all those maybe months in jail if you average the years versus no jail, but that doesn’t really answer the question for an individual case. That’s what clients want to know. And that’s, you know, judges rely on is all this case law.

So, as a lawyer, when we go to court, we have to present this case law to the court argue that this particular offense and this particular offender falls in this range, and then we try and, you know, ballpark it within that range, but, you know, you can’t go outside these ranges. I mean, you know, if you’re convicted of sexual intercourse or forced sexual intercourse, you’re going to face years in jail, there’s no question about it.

And the more serious the crime in terms of more forced use, injuries is going to escalate those years up so that’s a little primer. You know, I started off by saying averages but the more appropriate question is, what are the ranges of sentences for different levels of sexual assault involving adult victims and victims under 18.

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By Published On: February 23, 2024Last Updated: February 23, 2024Categories: General, Sexual Assault, Video

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