Welcome to our video. I’m really glad you could join me today. I want to answer the question what is second degree sexual assault in Canada? 

Well first of all, second degree is not a term many people use the real term is what is a level two sexual assault? And answering that question I necessarily have review what’s level one, two and three I’m going to do that and go through the penalties. 

So level one sexual assault is a sexual touch that is touching up to a rape for example, where there’s no actual physical injuries or they’re very minor injuries. Obviously, there’s always psychological injuries, for example a rape or  any sexual assault I’m not trying to minimize it but that’s called level one. So we’re ascribing levels to it. It is kind of on a spectrum from level one to very serious inordinately serious is level three. So the maximum jail term if the Crown elects Indictment for level one sexual assault such as a date rape or stranger rape with minimal or no injuries is 10 years in jail, that’s important to know. So it’s still a very serious offence but the spectrum can encompass a more minor offense such as a man unfortunately grabbing a woman’s buttocks in a bar  or touching her breast which is of the lesser of the scale all the way up to date rape or stranger rape situation, that’s level one.   

Level two is sexual assault causing bodily harm for example so in the course of the sexual assault the person caused significant bruising or broken arm or whatever level of bodily harming.  So that’s a serious offence. Also when the sexual assault whether it’s death threats or threats to a third party that’s also considered a level two. So sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault where there’s threats of death either you or third party, very serious offence and you’re facing if the Crown elects by Indictment a 14 year jail term. Up to 14 years.  That’s considered very serious.  Obviously a date rape situation is very serious to. You’re facing 3, 3.5, 4 years. The ranges are moving up all the time in Canada.  The range used to be 2 to 3 years  for a  “garden variety” date rape which is a very serious offence where there’s no bodily harm. 

Now level three is the most serious sexual assault offence punishable by a life sentence. It’s a straight indictable offense, and you could be facing a life sentence. What that is, is where during the course of a sexual assault you wound, maim, endanger the life of or disfigure the person, endanger life, so for example, during a violent sexual assault in person winds up in intensive care, pretty serious stuff or is cut or wound or maimed or disfigured in some way, that’s a life sentence and believe me the Judge is going to through away the book on a person like that. They might not get the life sentence but they’re going to get a lot of years in jail.    

So that’s how we tend to call it in Canada. I mean, the levels are really terms that you know, not a lot of people even use those terms.  Police officers will. We categorize this, Statistics of Canada use it, criminal lawyers might use it.  We don’t hear it much in court though but a lot of people seem to google and ask kind of US terms, first, second and third degree, so that’s what’s raised the initial question or what is second degree sexual assault. So there you have it there you have three levels and what people are facing but any sexual assault obviously is a very, very serious offence whether it’s the most minor charge up to the most serious aggravated sexual assault. 

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