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Criminal Law

Sexual Offences

Sexual offences refer to any intentional application of force that is sexual in nature or in circumstances that are sexual, without the consent of the other individual. This includes: sexual assault, threats of sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation. 

The scope of sexual offences is extremely broad but, at its base, a sexual offence involves any violation of the sexual integrity of the person being touched. Sexual assault can mean anything from an unsolicited kiss or touch on the buttocks to pulling down an individuals pants and, of course, contact that can be viewed as sexual in nature without the explicit consent of the person being touched. Whether the act is intended for a sexual purpose is not relevant to the charge, if the other individual did not explicitly consent to being touched in any way, their sexual integrity is considered violated and the grounds for sexual assault are warranted in the eyes of the law.

Other sexual offences build on this understanding but increase in severity and consequences depending on the circumstance. Sexual exploitation occurs when sexual contact is pursued by a person of authority; sexual interference involves touching a person under the age of 16 in a sexual manner; and, sexual invitation is having a person under the age of 16 touch another person in a sexual manner. 

The majority of sexual offence charges proceed as indictable offences and result in prison time. The length of that incarceration depends on influencing factors such as: the nature of the charges, the age of the person involved, the defendant’s position of authority as well as any criminal past. 

The most common sexual offence is sexual assault, which carries a minimum prison sentence of eighteen months to a maximum of ten years. As the offence becomes more serious the incarceration time increases. Aggravated sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference can all result in ten years to a lifetime sentence. What is more, sexual offences often lead to registration on the Sexual Offender’s Information Registry (SOIRA) which will always damage the reputation of the individual and their livelihood. 

In the current societal context, sexual offences are often politically charged and guilty verdicts are actively pursued by the prosecution. Sexual offences are very broadly defined and individuals that have no criminal past can easily find themselves facing sexual offence charges that threaten heavy incarceration periods and, because of the stigma associated with a sexual offence, irreparable damage to their personal reputation and their professional futures. However, Canadian law requires consideration of the circumstances in full and only a proficient and knowledgeable legal professional can offer a thorough navigation of this complex area of law. 

As a compassionate and understanding practitioner, Vishal Sharma will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings. As your advocate, he will provide rigorous cross examination that offers the court honest insight into your side of the situation. If you are facing a sexual offence charge, seeking legal counsel immediately will maximize the chances of securing a dignified outcome. Call Vishal Sharma today for a consultation before any damage to your reputation and your 

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