CALGARY INVITATION TO SEXUAL TOUCHING LAWYERS
Cory Wilson has extensive experience in defending invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual interference and other sexual-related criminal offences.
Invitation to sexual touching is an incredibly serious offence that often carries lengthy periods of jail if convicted. Just being accused of a sexual offence carries a significant stigma that can irreparably damage your reputation. For these reasons, it is important that you hire the right criminal lawyer to properly defend you. Cory Wilson has defended countless clients charged with invitation to sexual touching and all other sexual offences, serving Calgary, Okotoks, Airdrie, Strathmore, Cochrane, Canmore, Didsbury, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grand Prairie, and Turner Valley.
What is Invitation to Sexual Touching?
Invitation to sexual touching is the crime of inviting, counselling or inciting a person under the age of 16 to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of his or her body or with an object, the body of any other person including the person under the age of 16.
What does this mean? Essentially, this offence covers also sorts of sexual acts with people under the age of 16. Even counselling a person under the age of 16 to touch themselves in a sexual way is an offence under this section 152 of the Criminal Code.
This charge is almost always laid when it is alleged that a sexual assault occurred with a person under the age of 16.
Inviting, Counselling or Inciting
Inviting – An invitation can be made out in situations where the accused asks to touch the person under 16 or asks that person to touch him or her. It can also be an invitation where the accused asks the person under 16 to touch themselves in a sexual manner. It is not necessary that the accused even touch the person under 16 in order for the offence to me made out.
Counselling – This is an offence concerning the preparation of a future offence. It can be made out regardless of if the index offence actually occurs or not. Counselling under section 22 of the Criminal Code requires the following:
- The act of persuading or inducing the commission of the offence
- The commission of the offence itself
- The commission must be the consequences of the counselling
- The accused intended to counsel or knowingly counselled, aware of the risk that it would bring about the commission of the offence
Inciting – It is sufficient for the accused to, in some manner recommend or suggest that the acts take place. Passive Acquiescence is not sufficient to make out the offence.
For the Crown Prosecutor to prove invitation to sexual touching beyond a reasonable doubt they must prove:
- The accused was the one who communicated with the person under 16;
- The complainant was under 16 and the accused knew the person was under 16;
- The communication was in a manner constituting an invitation, incitement or counselling to touch any part of the accused’s body, the complainant’s body, or object;
- The communication was for a sexual purpose
- The accused knew that the communication would be received as an invitation, incitement or counselling to do the physical conduct of the offence, or knew that there was a risk the child would receive the communication as being an invitation, incitement or counselling to do that physical conduct.
What is for a Sexual Purpose?
The “sexual purpose” of an invitation is determined based on an objective standard in light of all the circumstances. In looking at whether the words used had a sexual purpose, a judge will look at the following factors:
- The part of the body touched
- The nature of the contact request
- The situation in which the invitation occurred including the words used, together with any gestures
- All other surrounding circumstances
Defences to Invitation to Sexual Touching
Like any other criminal offence, the prosecutor must prove certain elements in order to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Defences to invitation to sexual touching depend on the circumstances of each case. Depending on the allegations, three potential defences are:
- The communication did not occur;
- The accused had a mistaken belief of the complainant’s age
- The accused acquiesced to the touching;
The communication did not occur
Invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault and sexual interference have been described as the most under-reported and most over-reported offence. This means that many victims of sexual offencs never report the offence to police for a multitude of reasons. It is also over-reported in that complainants either make a false report of sexual offences or as is often the case with very young children, a complainant has come to believe the sexual offence occurred when it in fact did not. Unless an accused has a plane ticket showing they were out of the country on the exact day of the alleged offence, it is very likely that the accused will have to testify in his or her own defence that the act was not committed.
Mistaken belief of age
In order for a defence of mistaken belief of age to be successful, a judge will look to see if reasonable steps were taken in the situation. This will be assessed on an objective and reasonable person standard. Factors that will be considered are:
- Knowledge of the complainant
- Physical appearance of the complainant
- Age and appearance of the complainant’s friends
- Demeanour of the complainant
- Age differential between the accused and the complainant
- Time and location of the alleged sexual offences
- Other relevant circumstances including times and places the accused and complainant met
Generally speaking, the less familiar the accused and complainant are, the more steps that the accused will be required to take. This means that a judge is often hesitant to believe all reasonable steps were taken if the accused based his or her belief of age-based only on the complainant’s assertion of age.
The accused acquiesced to the touching
This is a very fact-specific defence and arises when the complainant repeatedly tries to get the accused to engage in sexual activities and the accused repeatedly declines. However, after declining several times, the accused gives in, it can be argued that the accused is not guilty as he did not incite, counsel or invite the sexual activity.
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.