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Sexual Offence Lawyer in Abbotsford

Sexual offences are a very serious matter and are among the most damaging of accusations. If you are facing such charges, you are also contemplating irreparable consequences on your present and future life. Richard Ballantyne specializes in sexual felony cases. With more than 2 decades of experience in criminal law, he has the knowledge and the know-how to handle all types of sexual based offences.

If you are facing charges of any type of sexual offence, turn to an experienced and qualified sexual assault lawyer in Abbotsford. Call Richard Ballantyne today for an initial consultation at no charge. You may call 24 hours a day, and Mr. Ballantyne make time available for evening and weekend appointments.

Sexual Offences in the Criminal Code of Canada
In consulting with clients and in preparing an appropriate defense, Richard Ballantyne believes you should understand any criminal charges you or a loved one might face. That’s he provides here a summary of how certain sexual offences are defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Sexual Assault
Accusations of sexual assault are quite serious, and Canada’s Criminal Code provides definitions and specific punishments for such assaults. Even though Canada doesn’t have a specific “rape” law, the Code applies the assault law to sexual situations. Sexual assault also applies to sexual assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault with a weapon, and aggravated sexual assault.

Sexual Interference
Sexual Interference is a specific type of sexual assault that applies where you touch a complainant who is under the age of 16 years for a sexual purpose with any part of your body or with an object. Because of serious nature of the crime, being convicted of sexual interference carries a minimum mandatory sentence. For successful prosecution of sexual interference, the Court must prove that you were touching the complainant with a sexual purpose in mind.

Defences to sexual interference include accidental touching, touching with no intent of sexual purpose, and mistaking the age of the accuser. Age of consent in Canada is 16. Few exceptions to age of legal consent exist for younger persons from ages 12 to 15, and they are very strict as to the age of their partner. Sexual interference also applies to:

  • Sexual contact by someone in a position of trust or authority
  • Sexual contact with a legal dependent 
  • Sexual exploitation of someone under the age of 18

Invitation to Sexual Touching
If you have been charged with invitation to sexual touching, you are being accused of an illegal act of inviting or counselling a child under the age of 16 to touch their own body, your body, or another person’s body. Words and actions can be considered invitation to sexual touching. This criminal offence also carries a minimum mandatory jail term upon conviction.

Canadian federal law defines incest as having a sexual relationship with a sibling or half-sibling, as well as a sexual relationship between a parent and child or grandparent and grandchild. Knowledge of having a blood relationship is required for a charge of incest. You can be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison if convicted of incest.

Sexual Exploitation
The offence of sexual exploitation of a young person over the age of 16 but under 18 occurs in special circumstances. Sexual touching or invitation to touching for sexual purposes can be grounds for charges of sexual exploitation if:

  • The accused is in a position of trust or authority
  • The young person is dependent upon the accused
  • The relationship exploits the young person by age difference, control, or sexual purpose

Child Luring
Child luring can also be known as internet luring is a sexual offence of communicating with a child or a person you believe to be under the age of 16 – and in some cases, the age of 18 – for certain sexual purposes. The definition of electronic communication can also encompass text messaging. The illegal act of child luring also includes using a computer or text messaging to communicate with an underage person with the purpose of:

  • Sexual exploitation or prostitution
  • Creating, distributing or possessing child pornography
  • Incest
  • Child abduction
  • Invitation to sexual touching

Child Pornography
Though possessing or accessing child pornography is illegal, distributing child pornography is a more serious crime. All child pornography charges are sexual offences that carry minimum mandatory prison terms. Child pornography is identified as materials that visually represent:

  • Someone under 18, or depicted as underage, in explicit sexual activity
  • The sexual organs or other body areas of someone under 18 for sexual purposes

Written materials and audio recordings can also be considered child pornography if they promote sexual activity with someone under 18.

Charges of voyeurism are made if a person observes or makes a visual recording of a person in environments or situations that have reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes if the complainant(s) is nude, partially nude, or engaged in sexual activity. You may also be charged with voyeurism if you observe or record the person in a place where they expect privacy even if they are clothed or not engaged in sexual activity.

Indecent Acts and Exposure
Federal law is clear that an indecent act in public must be done with the intent to insult or offend any person present. The “public” may be one or more persons. You may be charged with exposure, a more serious charge, if you expose your genitals, in any place, to a person under 16 years of age for sexual purposes.

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