“Sexual assault” is not defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.
However, it is generally recognized as an assault committed by a male or female in circumstances of a sexual nature, such that the sexual integrity of the victim is violated [see R. v. Chase (1987), 59 C.R. (3d) 193, 37 C.C.C. (3d) 97 (S.C.C.)] .
Sexual assault is a crime of general intent. As such, intoxication is not a defence.
The charge is a hybrid offence, meaning that the Crown can elect to proceed by summary conviction or by indictment. If the latter, the offence is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Where a person is convicted of this offence in relation to a complainant under the age of 16 years, mandatory prison terms are triggered.
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, ALL 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, ALL CHARGES DISMISSED.
3) The Host
Following an evening of dining and drinking, the complainant decided to spend the night at the house of the host and his wife rather than drive home. During the night, she claimed to have awoken to sexual intercourse to which she did not consent. The homeowner was charged with sexual assault. Kelowna criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was retained to defend the accused homeowner. File resolved on the eve of trial on the basis of a PEACE BOND – no jail, no fine, and no record.
4) The Apprentice
Criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was retained to defend a young man making rapid advances in his trade, but charged with sexual assault after his date alleged that he had crossed the line of consent one evening early in their relationship. Wade Jenson argued at trial that the circumstances were such that his client had no reason to believe that his date was uncomfortable with the situation. Human relationships, particularly those in their early stages, can be awkward, but that does not equate to criminal conduct. The Judge agreed. NOT GUILTY.