Being arrested for any type of serious assault in Toronto generally means being held by police before a bail hearing and a complex passage through the legal system.
When the charge is sexual assault, there is an added stigma attached to it and the damage to your reputation at home, at work, and socially can be devastating.
In such stressful times, it helps to speak to an experienced lawyer for guidance, clarity, and peace of mind.
Mukesh Bhardwaj Criminal Defence Lawyer is experienced in sexual assault in Toronto. He can help you defend your rights and attain justice.
When assault is considered sexual in nature
Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offence of sexual assault within the context of general assault.
An assault is considered sexual in nature when the sexual integrity of the alleged victim is violated.
The body part(s) touched will be considered along with other circumstances, such as the words and gestures used, whether threats were made, and whether there was intent.
However, sexual gratification is not necessary for a charge of sexual assault to be made.
A few examples of actions that can be prosecuted as sexual assault include:
Sexual activity with someone who is sleeping or unconscious
Groping another person
Striking the buttocks or genitals of a child
Forced intercourse or digital penetration on an unwilling person
Sexual assault charges can be very complex. In a sexual assault case, the prosecution must prove that:
The touching was intentional
It was sexual in nature
There was no consent
Speaking with the police about alleged sexual assault
If you are arrested for sexual assault in Toronto, speak to a sexual assault lawyer.
It is advisable to limit what you say to the police beforehand. Do not give them a statement. This applies even if you are innocent and have been wrongly accused.
Your lawyer will advise you of your rights and responsibilities and what will happen if you are charged with sexual assault.
In sexual assault cases, it is highly likely that you will be charged as the police have been encouraged to move forward with such cases in recent years.
Even if the complainant later changes his or her mind, the police will likely charge you. Then it will be up to the Crown prosecution to decide if it is to go to trial.
Speaking to the police without legal advice could lead you to say something that could be used by the prosecution against you.
Conditions of bail for sexual assault
In order to be released, you will likely have to attend a bail hearing. Your lawyer will assist with this.
Strict conditions will generally be applied to your release. These will restrict your movements and you will be prohibited from making contact with or going near the co
If you are charged with sexual assault of a minor (under the age of 16), the prosecution may request that you are also prohibited
from going anywhere near places where minors are found, like schools.
Sexual assault sentencing
If your case goes to a trial and you are convicted of sexual assault, your sentence will depend on whether the case is treated as a summary conviction or indictment.
For summary offences, which are less serious (for instance, unwanted kissing or groping), a maximum jail term of 18 months can be imposed. However, it is possible that no custodial sentence will be sought.
For indictable offences (which may have aggravating factors like the involvement of a minor), a prison term of up to 10 years is possible.
There are now mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault of minors:
1 year for an indictment
6 months for a summary conviction
The judge will consider a variety of factors when sentencing, including past criminal record and the level of force applied in the assault.
As well as a possible jail term, if you are convicted of sexual assault you will have to submit a DNA sample and will appear on a national database of sex offenders for 10-20 years.
Sexual assault Frequently Asked Questions
What defines sexual assault in Ontario?
Sexual assault is the use of force of a sexual nature – either touching, groping, or through intercourse or penetration – where the complainant did not provide consent and the accused acted intentionally.
How do you defend against sexual assault allegations?
Because of the serious nature of sexual assault, charges are normally prosecuted by senior Crown lawyers.
This makes it even more important to hire a seasoned sexual assault lawyer to defend you.
An experienced lawyer will help you present a convincing, trustworthy, and persuasive defence that can push for the charges to be dropped, clear your name at trial, or at least mitigate your sentence.
What should I do if I have been falsely accused of sexual assault?
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, you should avoid the temptation to make a statement to the police.
Speak to your lawyer and follow the recommended advice on how to proceed.
How can I get my sexual assault charges dropped in Ontario?
Your best chance of getting sexual assault charges dropped is for your lawyer to work with the Crown prosecution and attempt to have the charges withdrawn.
Even if the complainant wants to drop the charges against you, the police may not agree and the prosecution may still decide to pursue the charge.
A season sexual assault lawyer will understand the best strategies to get charges dropped or, if it goes to trial, avoid a criminal record and other severe punishments.