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Sexual Interference, Invitation to Sexual Touching, Sexual Exploitation Lawyer In Toronto

Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Sexual Interference, Invitation to Sexual Touching and Sexual Exploitation Lawyer

Commonly Asked Questions

1. What is sexual interference?

2. What is the sentence for sexual interference?

3. What is invitation to sexual touching?

4. What is the sentence for invitation to sexual touching?

5. What is sexual exploitation?

6. What is the sentence for sexual exploitation?

7. What is SOIRA?

8. What is a Section 161 Order?

9. What are my Charter rights?

10. Can the Charter help my defence?

11. Can I get assistance from Legal Aid Ontario for my case?

What are Sexual Interference, Invitation to Sexual Touching and Sexual Exploitation?

  • Sexual interference is the crime of touching with a part of the body or an object any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years for a sexual purpose.
  • Invitation to sexual touching is the crime of inviting, counselling or inciting a person under the age of 16 years to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of his or her body or with an object the body of any other person including the person under the age of 16 years.

A related offence is the crime of sexual exploitation committed by anyone who is in a position of trust or authority toward a young person, or who is in a relationship of dependency or an exploitive relationship with the young person, defined as a person who is 16 years of age or more but under the age of 18 years, and who commits sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching.

The Criminal Code of Canada was recently amended to provide for higher minimum penalties with respect to the offences of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, it is absolutely critical that you seek only the most experienced of criminal defence lawyers.

I have more than 35 years of experience defending clients against allegations of sex crimes such as sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation. I provide my clients with the kind of strong, intelligent defence needed to protect their rights and freedom.

If your case requires a jury trial, I have the necessary experience, advocacy skills and confidence to convincingly argue your case to the jury.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in some cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

What is the Sentence for Sexual Interference, Invitation to Sexual Touching and Sexual Exploitation?

The penalty that must be imposed upon a person convicted of any of these offences is a minimum of 90 days in jail and a maximum of 2 years less a day in jail if the Crown prosecutor elects to proceed summarily and a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of 14 years in jail if the Crown prosecutor elects to proceed by indictment. A conviction for sexual exploitation is likely to attract a sentence higher than the minimum due to the breach of trust element and the exploitive nature of the offence.

What are the available Defences to a Charge of Sexual Interference?

The available defences to a charge of sexual interference include the following:

  • The wrong perpetrator has been charged.
  • The act complained of did not occur.
  • The act complained of did not, in law, amount to a sexual interference.
  • In some limited circumstance in which communicated consent is a defence, the complainant provided communicated consent, or the perpetrator had an honest, but mistaken, belief that the complainant provided communicated consent.
  • The perpetrator should be found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCR Application).

When is Mistake of Age a Defence?

The defence of mistake of age can be raised in any case in which the age of the complainant is a necessary constituent element of the defence, for example, sexual interference which can only be committed against a complainant who is less than 16 years of age.

Section 150.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides, however, that mistake of age is not a defence "unless the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant."

The issue of whether an accused took "all reasonable steps" is a case specific inquiry.

What is the Sex Offender Registry?

Anyone convicted of a sexual offence will be subject to a mandatory order to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), which will result in his or her name and other personal information being placed in the Ontario National Sex Offender Registry. In addition the convicted person will be required to have his or her name placed on the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. This can seriously affect your ability to obtain employment and the quality of your life. This is another important reason to make sure you are represented by only a qualified and skilled criminal defence lawyer. More Information on the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), the National Sex Offender Registry and the Ontario Sex Offender Registry is available here.

What is a Prohibition Order Pursuant to Section 161 of the Criminal Code of Canada?

A person who is found guilty of committing a sexual offence, a child pornography offence or an offence involving the Internet luring of a person who is under the age of 16 years also faces the possibility that the court may make an order prohibiting the offender from engaging in activity that may bring the offender in contact with persons under the age of 16 years. This prohibition order is discretionary. The prohibition order may be for life or any shorter period that the court considers desirable. The court may also make the prohibition order subject to conditions or exemptions that the court considers appropriate.

The prohibition order may prohibit the offender from doing any or all of the following:

  • attending a public park or public swimming area where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present, or a day care centre, school ground, playground or community centre;
  • seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority toward persons under the age of 16 years;
  • having any contact - including communicating by any means - with a person who is under the age of 16 years, unless the offender does so under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate; or
  • using the Internet or other digital network unless the offender does so in accordance with conditions set by the court.

DNA and Other Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence, such as DNA evidence, is just one type of evidence that the Crown can try to introduce against a person accused of a crime. The defence can challenge the admissibility of forensic evidence on the basis of relevance, prejudice or that there is a lack of a sufficient scientific foundation to make the evidence reliable and worthy of being admitted, in other words, the forensic evidence is inadmissible because it is based on "junk science".

Over the years, there have been several types of forensic evidence that have been rejected by the courts in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada, including voice print identification, comparative bullet lead analysis and several indicators of arson dependent on visual cues.

Likewise, there are various other types of forensic evidence which are possibly unreliable, such as microscopic hair comparison, and "pattern comparison" evidence such as bite marks, tire marks and handwriting.

Even in cases where the forensic evidence is ruled admissible, the defence can still try to weaken the impact of the evidence by arguing, for example, that the results of the forensic testing were the subject of "motivated perception". In other words, the scientist who did the testing interpreted the results so as to support his or her expectations or the expectations of the police or Crown prosecutors. The defence can argue, or call evidence to show, that the forensic examiner should have first tested the evidence blindly without knowing anything about the case in order to avoid a subconscious bias. Studies have shown that even the opinion of fingerprint analysts can be affected by the analysts' preconceived notions about the case. Also, there is always a risk of a false positive. Moreover, if the laboratory that completed the testing, such as the Centre of Forensic Sciences, is known to have made errors on occasion in the past, the defence can argue that the error rates should also be entered in evidence.

In appropriate cases, and where funds permit, the evidence can be re-tested by an independent laboratory for verification.

A good defence lawyer should know the weaknesses of specific scientific techniques or seek out an appropriate defence consulting expert to learn about and present evidence regarding those weaknesses.

Pre-Trial Charter Applications

Often, the best defence to a criminal charge involves a challenge to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of the accused or the collection of evidence against the accused. The police are not allowed to breach the rights that are guaranteed to the accused by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I will investigate any possible Charter breaches by carefully reviewing the Crown disclosure documents, including the documents used by the police to obtain search warrants for the home, car or other property of the accused, and the documents used by the police to obtain production orders, such as for cell phone records and wiretap authorizations.

If I detect any violation of the Charter rights of the accused or violation of acceptable investigative procedures established by the courts, I will proceed with an application asking for the exclusion of evidence from the trial of the accused obtained illegally by the police, including the statements of the accused and other evidence seized during the investigation.

I have an established reputation for success in pre-trial applications. Winning a Charter application will result in the exclusion of evidence if the court determines that not excluding the evidence will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The exclusion of evidence often results in a finding of not guilty if the Crown's remaining evidence is insufficient to prove that the accused committed the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have the necessary experience, research skills, writing skills, and advocacy skills to prepare and effectively argue pre-trial Charter applications. The value of legal writing skills cannot be overstated since proceeding with pre-trial Charter applications will require the preparation of several documents including a Notice of Application, an Affidavit, and a Factum setting out the relevant facts and summarizing the relevant case law.

Electing to Have a Preliminary Inquiry

In cases in which a Defendant is exposed to a possible period of 14 years in jail or more, the Defendant will have the right to proceed with a preliminary inquiry in the Ontario Court of Justice and then a trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a court composed of a Judge sitting with a jury or without a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as "High Court".

The completion of a preliminary inquiry is not mandatory. The Defendant has the right to waive the preliminary inquiry and to proceed directly to trial in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. If the trial is to be completed in the Superior Court of Justice, the waiver of the preliminary inquiry will require the consent of the Crown.

At a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is required to call some evidence upon which a properly instructed jury, acting reasonably, may return a verdict of guilt. This is an easy test for the Crown to meet in the vast majority of cases. Accordingly, it is relatively rare for someone who proceeds with a preliminary inquiry to be discharged with respect to all of the charges which he or she is facing. The real value in having a preliminary inquiry is not in the hope of being entirely discharged, thereby bringing the entire criminal proceedings to an end, but in being able to better prepare the case for trial. The defence lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine and test the evidence of the primary Crown witnesses. An experienced and skilled defence lawyer can discover the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown witnesses and commence building an effective defence strategy. A preliminary inquiry is especially valuable for the defence in cases involving young, infirm, unreliable or unsavory Crown witnesses.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in some cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.