An assault – in the sexual nature – that is done on another person is considered sexual assault, as well as any sexual act that is committed on another person, without that person’s consent. In Canada, sexual assault is an extremely serious crime. Even being accused of sexual assault in Canada can have everlasting – and damaging – effects on a person’s image and reputation. If an individual has been accused of sexual assault, there are defenses available; each defense will depend on the various aspects of the case, including the age of the complainant.
Sexual assault victims can be either male and female, and the attacker could be the same gender as the person who has accused them of the assault. People who are married can be charged with sexual assault by their spouse.
Sexual Interference and Invitation to Sexual Touching are offences involving children. Most often they are accompanied by a charge of sexual assault and signal to the court that a significant penalty is being sought to show society’s moral repugnance for the crime.
Consent: The court must accept that the sexual assault did in fact occur. This would require the prosecution to prove that the accused person forced the victim, without his or her consent. Consent may be implied; it may also be given through expression. The surrounding circumstances often determine if consent was implied. Consent is not a valid defense in certain cases such as where children are involved.
Even if the accused did not receive consent, he or she could argue that they truly believed the complainant had in fact consented to the sexual encounter. Sometimes a mistaken belief in consent is honest, and it could be used as a defense. Mistaken belief in consent could be argued if the accused can prove that he or she had a reason to believe the complainant affirmatively communicated consent for the sexual encounter through their words or actions. This defense is not always valid in all sexual assault cases.
Being found guilty of sexual assault could have serious consequences that lead to time in prison and registration on the provincial and federal sexual offender databases. Even after a conviction, a defense lawyer may assist you in getting a reduced sentence such as probation (with required counseling), or a fine. The Law Office of Kalina & Tejpal has the experience, skill, knowledge, and resources to help you fight a sexual assault charge.