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Toronto Sexual Interference Charges Lawyer

Toronto Sexual Interference Charges Lawyer

How lawyers defend sexual interference charges and the potential consequences upon conviction

Sexual interference is the term used in Canadian criminal law to define statutory rape or the sexual touching of someone under the age of 16 by an adult. Sexual interference charges are among the most serious in the Criminal Code and is codified in Section 151 which reads:  

151 Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years

      (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or

      (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days.

In sexual interference cases, the Crown Attorney will almost always proceed by indictment even for first time offenders

As indicated by the statute above, the accused is liable to up to 14 years imprisonment and to a minimum of one year in jail if the Crown Attorney proceeds by indictment (they almost always do). This is the absolute minimum. The courts will consider factors such as the background of the offender, the offender’s relationship to the victim, and the nature of the touching in determining the sentence.

Most first time offenders who are convicted of sexual interference will receive much more than the mandatory minimum even if convicted after a summary election which is 90 days. The Crown normally proceeds by indictment even if the accused is a first time offender.

Probation, sex offender registration, and Section 161 prohibition orders for up to life

In addition to the mandatory jail terms, offenders will also be sentenced to probation, be subject to sex offender registration, and Section 161 orders of prohibition that can limit their ability to attend pools, parks, or any places those under 16 may be along with restrictions on internet usage. Probation can be put in place for up to 3 years. The sex offender registry and Section 161 prohibition orders can both be put in place for the rest of the offender’s life.

It should also be noted that those jailed for sexual interference charges are often targeted in prison for abuse. They are labelled as skinners and goofs and considered the most worthy of receiving violent treatment from other members of the prison population.

Since a conviction for child sexual interference would clearly ruin the accused’s life in numerous ways it is important that they use every possible avenue available to defend the charges. Many people are falsely accused of these offences. For an innocent person to be convicted of such an offence would be an absolute travesty of justice.

How a lawyer can defend child sexual interference charges

There are many defences to sexual interference charges. Those applicable to your case will depend on the specific facts. Here is a brief description of some of the most commonly used defence tactics.

Challenging the credibility of the alleged victim and other Crown witnesses (sometimes this is only the child themselves, who may now be an adult)

Just because someone is accused of something does not mean the person accusing them of it is correct or telling the truth (there is a difference). In child sexual abuse cases, sometimes the defendant is falsely accused by a child who has mistaken their identity, whose memory is simply inaccurate, or who has been influenced to believe or intentionally make a false accusation. There are infinite reasons why false accusations are made.

The accuser may now be an adult and testifying to something they wrongly believe to have happened, or in some cases may intentionally be lying about it or making it up entirely. Intentional false accusations can be motivated by revenge, family pressure, financial opportunity, and myriad other reasons. These matters are often referred to as historical sexual abuse cases and require a unique approach to their defence.

In other cases the accuser may truly believe something happened that didn’t. This could be because of false memories, ideas implanted in their mind that were not true growing up by third parties, childhood dreams being misconstrued for reality and for many other reasons.

In some cases, a successful cross examination of the alleged victim and other witnesses are all it takes to have the prosecution's case fall apart. This may happen at the preliminary inquiry or trial.

Using the Preliminary Inquiry/hearing process for the accused's benefit

The preliminary inquiry/hearing is an important part of the process because it gives the defence an opportunity to test the complainant’s assertions prior to trial. Any statements made that contradict what they previously said will raise doubt about the accuracy of their account. This can help convince the Crown not to proceed and drop (withdraw or stay) the charges. If the case does go to trial any further testimony given at trial that contradicts what was given in the preliminary inquiry can raise doubt about the accuser’s story.

Reasonable mistake of age

The criminal code puts a pretty high burden on the accused to take all reasonable steps to ensure the person is of legal age to consent to sexual activity. It is often not enough that the complainant indicated they were 18 (or 16 in some cases).

The accused is expected to go beyond that and verify the claim. For this reason, this defence can be an uphill battle unless there are some pretty concrete attempts by the accused to verify the age and they are misled through obvious falsehoods. Nonetheless, in some cases this remains a viable defence.

Pre-trial Charter applications and motions

The Police may have been overzealous and acted outside of their jurisdiction in investigating and charging the accused. It is the job of the accused’s lawyer to carefully scrutinize the Police’s conduct by analyzing the disclosure to identify any potential Charter breaches.

If the accused’s Charter rights were violated during any part of the process this may be enough for a successful application to the court to exclude key evidence or stop the case from going forward (judicial stay). Further if such an application is successful the Crown prosecutor may also decide to drop the charges against the accused.

My husband, son, father, or other relative or friend has been arrested for sexual interference. How can I help them?

If this just happened, they likely need your assistance in getting released from jail on bail. They may need you to attend at the courthouse the next morning (or perhaps in the afternoon) to pledge as their surety. A surety acts to supervise the accused’s release while they await the outcome of their case.

Normally a surety will not have to put money up front but will have to show proof that they can afford to forfeit the pledged money should the accused breach his/her bail conditions. Anyone released on child sexual interference charges will be required to avoid those under 16 and may have internet restrictions and curfews to follow as well. The accused may also be required to reside with their surety.

Getting the accused released on bail is extremely important for their personal safety and criminal defence

While acting as a surety is a huge responsibility, it is extremely important that your family member be released from jail as soon as possible. Anyone charged with sexual interference is a high risk inmate in the Ontario provincial jail system. They could be beaten, infected with HIV, and subject to other forms of horrific treatment while awaiting trial.

While these are serious accusations, just because someone is charged does not mean they are guilty. Innocent people sometimes get charged with sexual interference. They deserve to defend themselves and not sit in jail under extremely dangerous conditions waiting to have their day in court.

Personal safety and liberty issues aside, it is also extremely important that they be released on bail as it dramatically will help their lawyer prepare their defence. Ideally when someone is arrested they would have a surety and lawyer show up at the courthouse the next morning (normally). If someone you know has just been arrested call us immediately so we can make such arrangements.

Call us today for a free case review

You need lawyers who understand technology, witness cross examinations, Charter applications and have experience defending sexual interference related charges. Sexual interference sentences (including for all guilty pleas) result in mandatory lengthy jail terms, sex offender registrations, and other employment, travel, and immigration related consequences that can ruin your life.

Winning acquittals and withdrawn charges often requires more than traditional defence methods. It may be possible to avoid a conviction by raising doubt in your case using highly sophisticated technological and constitutional defence strategies.

    call us: 647-228-5969


  call us: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • 2023 constitutional and technological child porn defences successfully used throughout Canada and the U.S.
  • Flat fee pricing
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with US travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can take calls/emails relating to Ontario, Canada area cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a child sexual interference related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


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  More Information:

  We provide:
  • 2023 constitutional and technological sexual interference defences successfully used throughout Canada and the U.S.
  • Flat fee pricing
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel