Is there a statute of limitations for the police to lay sexual assault charge in Canada? The short answer that question is no, absolutely not. What happens on under our system unlike many states where there are statute of limitations for sexual assault is sexual assaults a dual procedure offence, the Crown collects summarily, which means it's a more minor sexual assault generally, or the Crown can elect by indictment. If a charge is laid and the Crown elects by indictment the police can charge a person from 1970. That's the way our law works. And this applies to many other criminal offenses. If for any dual procedure, criminal offense under the Criminal Code, the police can lay a charge showed the mists of time going back to the 70s 60s As long as people are alive essentially so that's the law and this applies you know for murder for other all sorts of serious cases and even some minor dual procedure cases like breaking and enter, mor minor I should say I mean it’s not minor I should minimize it but even assault charges simple assault the Crown elected indictment and charge and person from 20 years ago, but it does present a lot of difficulties what I call these historical charges and when the police say lay a charge of 30 years ago, you know, memories a difficult thing reliability accuracy, and, you know, it's very difficult for the prosecution to prove those cases. You know, have I ever seen a conviction I have, but it's difficult, like, you know, I have defended many of these cases over the years older cases. And even recently, I've defended about 3 of those types of historical cases just in the last four years. And I don't recall ever losing one in my career because I'm not saying necessarily that the victims weren’t telling the truth, but the memories are just not reliable. And once you start cross examining, they can't really remember instances well, and the judge has to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, you know, so you're testifying from something of 1972 when you're six years old, and you know, it's not easy to prove. So that's the that's it now, there are commentators who critique this and I’m not that camp by the way, I mean, if someone committed a criminal offense, they deserve to be prosecuted this coming from defense lawyer here protecting people's rights, I'm a law-and-order person to. I don't think that criminals defence or law and order people were just doing their job or I'm just doing my job. So, you know, in that context, a lot of victims or some victims will choose to lay a lawsuit or start a lawsuit. I say, which is much easier to win because that's just a balance of probabilities. But one strategy that I've seen for victims who use it, who truthfully abused will be to lay a criminal charge and use that as discovery if you will for this to lay the grounds for the civil lawsuit because it’s just balance of probability, So that's the law that the fact that there's absolutely no limitation in Canada for criminal charges. I totally agree with that you’ll get other opinions and certainly, the States takes a different approach many states in that issue. Thank you for joining me today on this topic.
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