Charged with a sexual assault offence? Everything you need to know to strengthen your case with a professional assault lawyer in Newmarket
If you have been charged with sexual assault, do not hesitate to call our experienced law firm to strengthen your case and get you properly prepared. As a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, Mr. Semyonov can appear on behalf of you in court and give you regular updates on your pending case. Sensitive circumstances cannot be left to chance; trust the expertise of a reputable assault lawyer in Newmarket to represent you justly.
Mr. Semyonov has a reputable track record of defending crimes of sexual assault while garnering an esteemed reputation for professional advocacy. He will work with you carefully to identify a comprehensive understanding of your specific case through detail-oriented preparation and experienced knowledge of the Canadian Criminal Code.
What happens when someone is charged with sexual assault in Ontario?
Sexual assault is broadly defined in Canadian law and includes unwarranted sexual activity, such as kissing and fondling, and unwanted sexual acts, including verbal and physical instances. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, the form of:
- Sexual touching
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual interference
The Supreme Court of Canada has included some general factors to consider a reasonable person would perform a sexual act that constituted the assault charge:
- Which body part was touched;
- The nature of the contact of the specific part of the body in question;
- The intent of the accused;
- If there was any sexual gratification that occurred;
- Any additional words or gestures that accompanied the touching;
- The environment in which the situation occurred;
- Any further circumstances surrounding the conduct.
What must the accused prove in a sexual assault case?
Under section 273.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the person engaging in sexual conduct must take reasonable steps before performing the sexual act to ensure that the complainant is fully consenting. The accused individual must demonstrate, in most cases, and the matters of their testimony, that they honestly believed that the complainant communicated consent to engage in an act of a sexual nature.
Over the last three decades, several decisions have been made in the Canadian courts regarding the Criminal Code. The majority of sexual assault charges rely on three set provisions under the Criminal Code which are as follows:
- There was a lack of consent to the touch from the victim;
- Any touching that constitutes an assault within the definition of section 265 (1)(a);
- The touching occurred in sexual instances.
The accused needs to apply some force to the victim for the above provisions to qualify, and the touch may be direct or indirect. For example, you can be charged with sexual assault if you use another person to perform the act of touching. Furthermore, the touch does not have to involve any sexual parts of the body, nor does the touch have to be sexual.
Semyonov Law will strengthen your case and help you provide defence if you have mistakenly believed that there was consent at the time of the incident.
The importance of Mens Rea
Mens Rea refers to the mental element of the alleged crime; the mens rea component of a charge refers to what the accused was thinking concerning the charge. This is viewed from a subjective perspective, meaning that the mens rea is subjective to the accused unless the Canadian Criminal Code indicates an objective standard.
There are two elements that the Crown prosecutor must prove to demonstrate mens rea in sexual assault:
- That the accused intentionally acted;
- That the accused was aware of the lack of consent from the victim to provoke the sexual act.
If the Crown prosecutor fails to prove these two provisions, the accused may be excused or have a reduced sentence. However, the Crown prosecutor needs only to prove that the accused intended to touch the victim to satisfy mens rea. Even if there is no evidence of physical contact, mens rea can still be fulfilled.
If you have been charged with sexual assault, every second counts in strengthening your case! | Qualified criminal defence lawyer in Toronto
We have the legal knowledge to steer you in the right direction during your court proceedings, afford you peace of mind by addressing your concerns quickly and accurately, and improve the chances of your success in court. The law of sexual assault is increasingly complex and intricate, and every small detail matters when building your case.
Contact us today at 647-292-3377 to discuss your options and you require reliable prudent legal advice.
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