Sexual Assault Lawyer

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assaultis an assault of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim. The act of sexual assault does not depend solely on contact with any specific part of the body, but rather the act of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim. The motive of the person accused of sexual assault does not have to be sexual gratification or pleasure.

Sexual assault is a hybrid offence.  This means that the Crown prosecutor chooses whether the offence will be treated as a less serious summary conviction offence, or a more serious indictable offence.  If prosecuted by indictment, it has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, or 14 years in prison if the victim was less than 16 years old. If treated as a summary offence, the maximum sentence is imprisonment of 18 months, or if the victim is under 16 years old, imprisonment of not more than two years less a day.

Legal Age

A person who is under the age of sixteen cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is five or more years older than them. A person who is under the age of fourteen years cannot consent to sexual activity with another person who is two or more years older than them. In any case, a person in authority cannot use consent as a defence of having sexual activity with a person under the age of sixteen.

It is nota defence that the accused simply believed that the complainant was of legal age to consent to the sexual activity in question. An accused person can only rely on the consent of the young person as a defence, if the accused can prove that he or she took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant, such as asking the complainant how old they are, or checking their identification.

What is Sexual Interference?

Sexual interference involves the touching of any part of the body of a young person for a sexual purpose. To prove that the Accused is guilty, the Crown must prove that the touching was intentional and sexual.

Sexual Interference is a hybrid offence for which the minimum sentence is imprisonment for 90 days if the case proceeds by summary conviction, or imprisonment of 1 year if the case proceeds by indictment.  The maximum sentence is imprisonment for 14 years.

What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?

Invitation to sexual touching involves inviting, counselling or inciting a young person to touch the body of any person for a sexual purpose.  Again, to prove that the Accused is guilty, the Crown must prove that the touching was intentional and sexual.

Invitation to Sexual Touching is a hybrid offence for which the minimum sentence is imprisonment for 90 days if the case proceeds by summary conviction, or imprisonment of 1 year if the case proceeds by indictment.  The maximum sentence is imprisonment for 14 years.

Special Considerations for Sexual Offences

Under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), if you are found guilty of a sexual offence, you will be registered on the federal National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). You will also be registered on the provincial registry where you live. Only the police have access to these registries. The registry will contain your name, your address, photographs of you, and a description of the crime you have been found guilty of. You must report any change of address or other relevant information (such as changing your last name) to keep the registry up-to-date. You can be fined or put in prison for not complying with these requirements.

A court may also make a prohibition order, which prevents you from being in contact with people under the age of 16. This order is discretionary, which means that it is up-to the judge if he or she will make such an order, and if so, for how long it will last. Prohibition orders can be for a short time or can last for the rest of your life.

Prohibition orders may include many restrictions, such as:

  • preventing you from going to public parks where people under the age of 16 would be expected to be, and/or
  • preventing you from having a job that involves working with young people, and/or
  • having your Internet use restricted or monitored.

If you do not comply with the order, you may be charged and found guilty of another criminal offence, which has a maximum penalty of imprisonment for eight years.

Gerri Wiebe – An Experienced and Effective Assault Lawyer in Winnipeg

Gerri Wiebe has been practicing criminal law in Winnipeg for 16 years, and has defended sexual assault charges on behalf of hundreds of clients.  She has the experience and knowledge that you need to achieve the best possible result.

Get In Touch With Gerri Wiebe

Finding the right criminal defence lawyer can be quite a challenge, especially when you are reeling from the stress of criminal charges.  Hiring a criminal lawyer means putting your trust in that person, and it’s important that you feel assured that that person will give you the best representation possible.  Call Gerri Wiebe today at +1-204-799-5956 for a free consultation and find out if she is the right lawyer for you.