How long does a sexual assault investigation take in Ontario? A lot of our clients will show up at our office and they’ll say their investigation for sexual assault. The police have reached out to them and are wondering how long does this process, they haven’t charged me, how long is this going to take ? Well, that’s a very loaded question because every case is different and perhaps, I can give you some examples. So let’s say a person’s at a bar, and they’re accused of for example, a fairly lower level sexual assault. Perhaps they briefly groped a girl’s buttocks in the bar. Kind of a common scenario, unfortunately, that we’ve come across over the years, so that that person then reports to the police, maybe they call 911. Maybe they show up at the police station. That’s going to be a fairly quick investigation. The police are going to take an initial statement for the person in an occurrence report. They’re probably then going to do a videotape interview, of them reach out to other witnesses that may have seen or may not have seen the incident and that that type of investigation on a lower level sexual assault, might completed in a few days, they might they call the accused and to provide a statement and of course, right to remain station, I have another video do not provide a statement if you’re being accused, so you could wind up being charged within a few days. As we go up the scale, if I may put it that way of domestic assaults, if we take a much more serious, such as a case involving sexual intercourse, which is more serious on the scale, those investigations can take weeks, months. It really depends. So as an example, the complainant alleges she was assaulted against her will, sexual assault. Contacts the police, statements taken from her videotapes. All the other witnesses are interviewed as well over time. It might take quite a few weeks people she told this to after the fact people are the party before for example, she would go for a sexual assault evidence kit at the hospital as it happened within the preceding 72 hours where the nurse gathers all the relevant skin saliva, hair samples, DNA and whatnot. And that process can take a long time it may take a few weeks, it may take a few months, depending on how many witnesses there are. And of course, ultimately the accused if the police determine there’s reasonable and probable grounds to lay a charge, they will. So there’s an example, two ends of the spectrum where could be wrapped up in a few days for another end of this spectrum, it could take weeks to months. There’s also very involved sexual assault investigations, let’s say multiple, a person is being accused of multiple rapes and sexual assaults against many women. Well, literally, dozens of women may have to be interviewed all the peripheral witnesses evidence gathered. I’ve seen those investigations a year or even two at times. So people are very concerned if you know you’re under investigation. There’s really no time limit to lay a charge either a sexual assault there’s no time limit. A charge could be laid from 40 years ago. So it’s very concerning when someone knows they’re under investigation. How long is this going to take? Well, we really don’t know. I mean, it could be concerning even at six months. But for a minor offence, I mean, if nothing’s happened, if there’s no charge laid after a certain amount of time, you’re getting increasingly confident that it’s going away. Even with a much more serious charge. I mean, if years gone by, well, it’s rare even six months on a sexual, a case involving sexual intercourse. So, there’s no average time every case varies. It really depends on how many witnesses there are, how involved the case was and who has to be interviewed. And of course, police in different cities are very busy. In metropolitan Toronto, it tends to take longer because there’s so, the detectives are so busy, been working on multiple cases versus the small town it may be a top priority. So it may take weeks in a small town, it may take a couple of months in metropolitan Toronto. That’s just the reality of the resources we have with police in the province. So there you have it in the sense that is still concerning for people because you may know you’re under investigation is hanging over your head like a sort of democracy, police sometimes for months on end. And that people ask me, Mike, when do I know I’m not going to be charged? Well, I don’t know. We don’t know how long the police are going to take at some point I can say with increasing confidence. Well, it looks like they’re not going to charge you but you know, the police aren’t going to tell you, you don’t phone them up there a say, Hey, am I going be I’m not going to be charged to police, they are not going to tell you that they’re still investigating. They’re still determining the reasonable, probable grounds and unfortunately, this is a very stressful situation for people to be in, especially with an unknown answer for how long it’s going to take. So there you have it. there’s a little bit of a primer on different categories of sexual assault. How long has it taken that this video up in the areas are isn’t it. Thank you for watching our video. We are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and require our services please click on the link in the description below.

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