Sexual Offence is a serious crime in Canada.
Lives and reputations are ruined in sexual offence accusations, charges and convictions.
It is your right to be properly represented in court and to have the allegations, evidence and credibility of the complainant questioned and challenged.
Sexual offences are indictable, as opposed to summary offences, and aside from the social stigma associated with sex offences, they carry harsher penalties upon conviction.
To learn more about indictable offences: https://stepstojustice.ca/glossary/indictable
Sexual Offences And The Criminal Code
Sexual Offences are covered under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Sexual offences categorized in the Criminal Code cover a range of offences from Sexual interference (151); Invitation to sexual touching (152); Sexual exploitation (153); Sexual exploitation of person with disability (153.1) Incest (155); Bestiality (160); Voyeurism (162); and more.
For a comprehensive list of sexual offences under the Criminal Code, see here:
At Montes Law, we cover all sexual offence charges laid in Toronto, Barrie and the Greater Toronto Area, by working with your specific case needs to provide a successful resolution through a well-prepared defence.
If you have been accused or charged with a sexual offence in Toronto, Barrie, or within the Greater Toronto Area, call us today at Montes Law for a free consultation to get started on your defence.
Changing Landscape of Sexual Offence
Powerful social movements like #metoo and #timesup have seen a rise in the number of sexual offence charges and accusations.
But how do these global movements effect sexual offence defendants in Toronto, Barrie, and the rest of Canada?
Amendments to the Criminal Code made under Bill C-51, said to be the first major update to sexual assault laws in more than 20 years, now provide sexual offence complainants stronger legal rights and more protection than ever.
See Sexual Assault Provisions Bill C-51: (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/cuol-mgnl/c51.html)
While Bill C-51 has been challenged by Superior court judges in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, retaining legal advice is essential to protect your reputation and freedom in sexual offence cases.
Despite Superior court judges declaring the amendments to sexual offence charges under Bill C-51 as unconstitutional, and a violation of Charter rights (section 7; the right to make full answer and defence; and section 11d; the right to a fair trial;) sexual offence accusations and charges have increased in Canada, and have become increasingly difficult to defend.
Choosing a competent sexual offence lawyer, one who is knowledgeable about how to protect your Charter rights within the complex landscape of sexual offence charges is essential.
With Montez Law, serving the Barrie, Toronto and GTA area, and representing all sexual offence charges, you can be confident your charter rights will be upheld and protected.
According to Stats Canada, in 2017, 1 in 7 sexual assault cases were deemed unfounded:
If you or someone you know has been charged with a sexual offence, do not delay in contacting an experienced and professional sexual offence lawyer today.
Click here to discuss your sexual offence case, in Toronto, Barrie and the GTA, and receive a free consultation with Montez Law.
To learn more about your Charter Rights: Section 7: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/check/art7.html ; and Section 11: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/check/art11d.html
Superior court judge: reforms in sexual assault trials unconstitutional: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/saskatchewan-judge-rules-sex-assault-trial-reforms-passed-by-liberal-government-are-unconstitutional
What is the Criminal Code of Canada’s Definition of Sexual Assault?
One of the most common sexual offence charges laid is sexual assault.
Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offences of assault and sexual assault as follows:
A person commits an “assault” when:
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.
How does consent factor into sexual offence charges?
Consent is an important topic in sexual offence cases.
Prosecutors must prove the absence of consent in any sexual offence charge, but courts consider consent from the complainant’s perspective.
The general public has learnt from high profile cases covered in the media that often at issue in sexual offence cases is the question of whether the sexual activity under question, was consensual or not.
Canada’s Department of Justice states:
“All sexual activity without consent is a criminal offence, regardless of age.”
Canada’s Department of Justice Website Age of Consent to Sexual Activity https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/clp/faq.html
Understanding the nuances and legal context of consent is the professional duty of a skilled sexual offence lawyer.
Montes law defends all sexual offences, focusing on but not limited to the Toronto, Barrie and the Greater Toronto Area, and represents clients in a professional, compassionate, and thorough manner.
When addressing consent in sexual offence cases, there are many things to consider:
(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.
(3) For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of
(a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
(b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
(c) fraud; or
(d) the exercise of authority.
(4) Where the accused alleges that he believed that the complainant consented to the conduct that is the subject matter of the charge, a judge, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused’s belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 2441974-75-76, c. 93, s. 211980-81-82-83, c. 125, s. 19
Age of consent refers to the age at which a person is legally able to agree to sexual activity. For the purposes of Canadian law, sexual activity consists of a range of activities from kissing, fondling, to sexual intercourse.
The age of consent in Canada is 16.
There is what is called “close in age exceptions” for 14 and 15 year olds, provided that their partner is less than five years older, and “there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency or any other exploitation of the young person”.
For more on age of consent visit:
Discrepancies between parties in the perception of consent often leads to a “he said” “she said” scenario in sexual offence cases, which is why having an experienced sexual offence lawyer is vital to a successful outcome.
If a defendant believes there was consent, even if not explicitly given, this may lead to a ‘not-guilty’ verdict. This would apply only if the defendant mistakenly believed that the sexual activity was consensual, however believing in the implied consent must be an honest belief, and is subject to some limitations.
For expert legal advice pertaining to issues of consent, Montez Law offers free consultations, serving in the Toronto, Barrie and Greater Toronto Area.
To learn more from an example of a leading Supreme Court of Canada case involving consent see R. V. Ewanchuk, here: (https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1684/index.do)
Issues of consent are contentious, and the court will assess consent in cases of sexual offences from the complainant’s perspective.
Since the defendant and complainant’s interpretation and understanding of events and context in which the sexual offence was alleged to have been committed may differ, it is necessary to retain the services of an experienced sexual offence lawyer who will work to understand and defend the nuances of your case.
If you are in the Toronto, Barrie or Greater Toronto area, and have any questions regarding the legal interpretation of consent for a sexual offence allegation or charge, please call Montes Law now for your free consultation.
If you are convicted of a sexual offence in Toronto, Barrie, or the GTA, you may have to serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence and will be listed on the Sex Offenders Registry.
The Sex Offenders Registry records and tracks those convicted of sexual offences in Canada. The registry is not public, meaning the general public will not have access to the names, addresses and contact information of those registered due to sex offences.
However, the police and other organizations that investigate sex offences in Canada have access to the registry.
Being charged with a sexual offence has extreme negative employment, travel and social consequences. The stigma of being known as a sexual offender are great, which is why the stakes in sexual offence cases are so high, and legal representation necessary.
Some professionals may be more at risk for accusations of a sexual offence such as doctors, physiotherapists, and care-givers. Contacting an experienced professional for expert legal advice for sexual offence allegations, may resolve allegations before the stigma associated with such accusations sets in. It is important to act quickly in these cases.
Before speaking to the police, it is vital to obtain legal advice from an experienced sexual offence lawyer, even if you believe you are innocent or have been falsely accused. Without meaning to, you may provide the police with evidence that can be used against you should you be charged with a sexual offence.
As a skilled sexual offence lawyer serving the Toronto, Barrie and Greater Toronto Area, you can be confident that we will fight for your rights and reputation.
Montez Law will take your whole story into consideration through a thorough and in-depth investigation of your history; the context in which the event occurred; and all other case specific details to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
As compassionate professionals, we take sexual offence cases seriously, while considering personal issues and psychological well-being that goes beyond legal proceedings.
Some of the factors you can be confident that we are thinking of, and working to provide best solutions for your case are:
- The stigma associated with a sexual offence allegation or charge
- The potential loss of employment, and future opportunities
- Being registered on the Sex Registry
- Best practices to avoid bad publicity
- Contacting media outlets to clear your name/reputation in cases of acquittal, withdrawal, etc.
Like all criminal charges, sexual offence charges are difficult to deal with, and require a professional who is not only competent, but compassionate, easy to talk to and in tune with our clients unique circumstances.
If you or anyone you know has been charged with a sexual offence, in Toronto, Barrie or the Greater Toronto Area, contact Montez Law today for your free consultation.
Martin Montes, B.A., J.D.
Martin has spent more than 10 years helping individuals navigate Ontario’s legal system. He has focused his legal career on obtaining results for his clients in trials and appeals at all levels of court in Ontario.
Martin obtained his Law degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia (2008). Before attending law school, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Toronto (2005).
Montes Law was founded in 2013. Prior to opening his own practice, Martin worked at a high profile Toronto criminal defence firm where he focused exclusively on courtroom trial advocacy. He began his legal career articling with a prominent Bay Street insurance defence litigation firm.
Martin is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario. He is also a member of Legal Aid Ontario’s Criminal Law and Family Law panels.