The Criminal Code of Canada has a special classification for assault offences that are deemed sexual in nature: Sexual Assault. The severity of this crime should be taken serious as the penalties imposed, if convicted and found guilty are often harsher compared to other assault offences. The Crown typically wants to attempt to deter others from committing similar offences by making an example of the guilty party.
Just like normal assault offences, there are different types of sexual assault offences. The use of force or threatened use of force must also be present, where the victim does not consent to having the force or threat of force applied against them. Furthermore, the nature of the contact between the accused and victim does not have involve physical bodily contact (such as rape), but could include the touching of any area of their body in a sexual manner using one’s body or any object used in a sexual nature.
Types of Sexual Assault
The least severe of all types of sexual assault is “general” sexual assault without the use of weapons or inflicting bodily harm, wounding, disfiguring, or maiming the victim. Other variations includes, but may not be limited to:
- Sexual Assault causing Bodily Harm : If the injuries are deemed to be longer lasting, then one can be charged with this type of sexual assault.
- Sexual Assault with a Weapon : If the accused uses any object that could be considered a weapon while committing the sexual assault, then they could be charge with this offence.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault : During the commission of the sexual assault, if the victim is maimed, wounded or disfigured, then the accused could be charged with aggravated sexual assault.
Consent and Sexual Assault
Consent is the one of the key factors in determining whether sexual assault was committed. It is important to keep in mind consent in regards to sexual contact, can be given and taken away at any time. Far too often, one person mistakenly assumes consent was implied and given, only to discover later, when they are called in for questioning by the police, consent was not mutual.
When consent is given on one occasion, it is only for that occasion, not future sexual contact. Furthermore, the level of consent given can and does vary. Exceeding what was originally consented to could result in being charged with sexual assault.
To illustrate this point, you return from a date and the other person invites you into their home. They have consented to allow you into the home, not have sex. While in the home, they consent to kissing and being physically touched in an intimate manner, but do not consent to having intercourse. If you misconstrue the consent they have given and force them to have intercourse, they could file a complaint of sexual assault with the police.
In the event you have been contacted by the police to report for an interview or questioning, you need to immediately call Toronto sexual assault lawyer Rishma Gupta. It is your legal right of have a lawyer present during all interviews and questing conducted by the police, even during their investigation.
The consequences of being found guilty of sexual assault will drastically alter your life and it is not worth the risk to undergo questioning without a lawyer. Call Ms. Gupta now to arrange representation or to schedule a consultation appointment.