Sexual interference

a) Sexual Interference

Section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it an offence for any person to touch, directly or indirectly, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years for a sexual purpose.

b) Invitation to Sexual Touching

Similarly, Section 152 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it an offence for any person to invite or counsel a person under the age of 16 to touch, directly or indirectly, the body of any person for a sexual purpose.

The two offences above relate to offences involving persons under the age of 16.  However, a further offence is provided for where persons involved are between 16 and 18 years of age:

c) Sexual Exploitation

Section 153 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with persons who are alleged to be in positions of trust or authority in relation to persons between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age, and where there are elements of sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching.  An exploitive relationship can exist, for example, where there is a power imbalance.   

All three of the above related charges are hybrid offences, meaning that the Crown can elect to proceed by summary conviction or by indictment.  The same penalty provisions apply to each offence and all involve mandatory minimums: 

– where Crown proceeds by indictment, a person is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term up to 10 years and to a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of 1 year;
– where Crown proceeds by summary conviction, a person is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term up to eighteen months and to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 90 days.


1) The Pilot

Client charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a young person, and unlawful confinement.  The accused faced a lengthy term of imprisonment and the loss of a career upon conviction. With the stakes so high, Kelowna criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was retained to protect his client’s innocence. On the first day of trial, CHARGES DISMISSED

2) The Stepfather

Client’s teenage stepdaughter made comments to a friend alleging her stepfather had touched her inappropriately over a number of years, and that he had invited her to touch him sexually.  The parent of the friend passed the information to the police, and the stepfather was charged   with both sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching.  Criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was hired to defend. Client adamantly denied that any sexual contact had taken place, and maintained the support of his wife. After complainant took the witness stand and counsel had an opportunity to explore the accusations in court, CHARGES DISMISSED.

3) The Caregiver

The Crown proceeded with a charge of sexual exploitation by indictment against a young woman who had a brief sexual relationship with the 17-year-old male sibling of younger children for whom she was caregiver. The sexually inexperienced accused submitted to her younger, and physically larger, alleged victim.  Criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was retained.  Wade Jenson negotiated a resolution which converted the proceedings from indictment to summary conviction, and successfully argued that his client should be granted aCONDITIONAL DISCHARGE with minimal terms.  Following a 1-year probationary period, the client was deemed by law to have never been convicted.  No record and no Sexual Offender Registry (SOIRA) requirements. (Note: as a result of the latest changes to the Criminal Codeby the federal government, the discretion of the courts to use common sense in granting such Orders, and keeping young people such as this out of prison, has now been removed).