Child luring is defined as using the internet to connect someone you know is not 18 years of age or older with the intent to commit:

You can also be charged with child luring for if you communicate with a person that you know to be under the age of 16 with the intent to commit:

  • Sexual exploitation
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Indecent exposure to a person under 16
  • Abduction of a person under 16

Calgary Child Luring Lawyers

What Elements Must Be Proven for a Child Luring Conviction?

The Crown Prosecutor will not be able to achieve a conviction in your case unless they can prove all of the following elements:

  • Deliberate communication with the complainant via a computer
  • You knew or believed the person you were communicating with was less than 16 years of age or that you were reckless or intentionally did not realize that they were under the age of 16
  • You were communicating with this person for the purpose of committing at least one of the required offences

Child Luring Defences

Defences to child luring charges are heavily dependent on the circumstances of the offence. Many cases of child luring arise from police sting operations. In these circumstances, there are a number of defences including entrapment. Another defence comes from an accused’s mistaken belief in the child’s age. Often, people pretend they are someone different on the internet and lie about their age. In this case, as long as the accused to reasonable steps to ascertain the age, this would provide a defence. Another common defence is whether the conversation actually constituted child luring as opposed to having a simple conversation.

Depending on how police access the device in which the conversations were alleged to have occurred, a skilled lawyer may be able to have evidence of an accused’s involvement excluded at trial by arguing that his or her Charter rights were violated by police.

Sentences for Child Luring

The penalties for child luring can be sever. Without representation from a skilled lawyer, you may be more likely to be sentenced to the maximum penalties.

If you are convicted of child luring, you could face serious consequences. If you are accused of child luring, you can be charged in one of two ways:

  • You have committed an indictable offence, and you are liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years, or;
  • You have committed an offence punishable on summary conviction, and you are liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months.

If you are a youthful offender, were close in age to the complainant, or the complaint was initiated by an undercover officer, you may be able to mitigate your consequences.

However, there are also several potential aggravating factors that could make your charges harsher. These include:

  • The age or imitated age of the complainant
  • If you sent explicit images to the victim
  • The amount of grooming done by the offender
  • Communications that occurred over a long period of time
  • You attempted to arrange a meeting with the victim
  • Your meeting resulted in sexual assault or attempt
  • Your charges include the making of child pornography

Your penalties may also include ancillary orders such as an order to provide your DNA to be added to the national database, compliance with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, or the forfeiture of your computer equipment.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Child Luring

There are no mandatory minimum sentences for child luring. In 2017, the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down a mandatory one-year minimum prison sentence for child luring charges as unconstitutional. The Court ruled that this mandatory minimum sentence is not acceptable when the child luring crime is less severe. The mandatory minimum sentence would create a disproportionate penalty for some people convicted of child luring.

Conditional Sentence for Child Luring

In rare instances, offenders may be eligible for a conditional sentence. Upon completion of the requirements of the court, your charges could be reduced or dismissed.  However, you must meet at least one of the strict criteria of:

  • A very low risk of recidivism
  • Accepting of responsibility for your charges
  • Involvement and progress in an appropriate treatment program
  • Being assaulted by other inmates while in custody awaiting release
  • Prison time would be an extreme hardship on you and your family
  • Medical evidence showing that being in prison would put you at “risk of fatal dissociation culminating in possible suicide…” and being in a “very fragile mental and physical state.”

Under your probationary terms, you may be forbidden from having contact with the victim or their family or from contacting anyone under the age of 16 or 18. You may not access or possess any devices capable of accessing the internet, such as computers, tablets, or cell phones. In some cases, you must stay away from alcohol and drugs, and you must get treatment and counseling.

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To speak with Cory Wilson or arrange a free, no obligation consultation, call 403-978-6052 or email us here.

Child Luring FAQs

  1. What is child luring? 
  2. What are the best defences for child luring?

Cory Wilson is a criminal defence lawyer based in Calgary. If you have been charged with a criminal offence or are a suspect in a criminal investigation, call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

About Cory Wilson

Cory has represented individuals from all walks of life including lawyers, police officers, athletes, corporate executives, teachers, and everything in between. Cory believes in access to justice for every person charged with a criminal offence regardless of their economic background.

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Tel: 403-978-6052