When accused of invitation to sexual touching, individuals may face severe legal consequences that can impact their personal and professional lives. A conviction can lead to imprisonment, a criminal record, and a lifetime on the national sex offender registry. Moreover, the stigma and shame associated with such accusations can cause significant damage to one’s reputation and relationships.
In these situations, it is crucial to have a skilled criminal defence lawyer who can provide legal advice and representation throughout the legal process. A sexual assault defence lawyer is a professional who specializes in defending individuals against charges of sexual assault, including the invitation to sexual touching.
These lawyers understand the complexities of sexual assault laws and the nuances of each case. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to craft a defence strategy that can potentially lead to a favourable outcome for their clients. They can also help navigate the legal system and protect their clients’ rights, ensuring a fair trial.
In this blog, we will explore how a sexual assault defence lawyer can help defend you against charges of invitation to sexual touching. We will also discuss what invitation to sexual touching means, the legal requirements for a conviction, and the best defences against such charges.
What Is Invitation To Sexual Touching?
As per Section 152 of the Criminal Code of Canada, invitation to sexual touching refers to situations where one individual invites, counsels, or incites another person under the age of 16 years to touch, either directly or indirectly, any part of the body of any person, including the body of the person who so invites, counsels, or incites, for a sexual purpose.
Invitation to sexual touching is a serious criminal offence in Canada with severe consequences. Essentially, if someone is encouraging or enticing a child to engage in sexual activity, even if it is just touching, it can be considered an invitation to sexual touching under Canadian law.
A conviction, in this regard, may result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days (if the Crown elects to proceed summarily) or one year (if the Crown proceeds by indictment).
Legal Requirements For Conviction
To be convicted of invitation to sexual touching, the prosecution must show that the accused intentionally encouraged or invited someone under the age of 16 to touch themselves or someone else for a sexual reason. The prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was indeed under the age of 16 at the time of the incident.
In other words, it’s not enough to simply accidentally touch someone or to have a consensual sexual encounter with someone under 16. The prosecution must demonstrate that there was a deliberate and intentional act of encouraging or inviting the child to engage in sexual activity. This is a high bar to meet, but if the prosecution can prove all elements of the offence, the accused could face serious legal consequences.
For this reason, your sexual assault defence lawyer’s strategy must be good enough to prove a lack of sexual intent.
Using Consent As A Defence
It is important to recognize that in cases of invitation to sexual touching, consent is not a valid defence. Even if the victim willingly participated in the sexual activity, the accused can still be charged and convicted if the victim was under the age of 16 (age of consent).
Abuse Of Trust Or Authority As An Aggravating Factor
If the accused is in a position of trust or authority, such as a coach, teacher, or mentor, they may face additional legal consequences if they are convicted of invitation to sexual touching. This is because they would have abused their position of power to commit the offence, taking advantage of the victim’s vulnerability or trust in them.
When this is the case, the Crown may argue that the accused committed an aggravated form of the offence, resulting in more severe legal consequences if they are convicted. This means that the accused could face a higher sentence, such as longer jail time, if the Crown can prove that they abused their position of power to commit the offence.
Possible Defences And The Role Of A Sexual Assault Defence Lawyer
If you’re facing charges of invitation to sexual touching, a sexual assault defence lawyer can help you understand the legal defences available to you. A skilled lawyer will work with you to build a strong defence strategy and explore all possible defences to the charge.
Mistaken Belief In Age/Consent
One possible defence is mistaken belief in age or consent. This occurs when the accused believes that the person they were engaging with was able to legally consent to sexual activity.
Section 150.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada. This section provides that an accused person is not guilty of the offence if they believed the other person was at least 16 years of age and either:
- They were under a mistaken belief as to the identity of the other person;
- They took reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the other person but were given false information
It’s important to note that the accused must have taken reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the other person in order for this defence to be successful. A sexual assault defence lawyer can help you understand how this defence applies to your case and whether it may be available to you.
Lack Of Intent
Lack of intent is another potential defence against charges of invitation to sexual touching. This defence might be applicable if the accused did not have the requisite intent to commit the crime.
A sexual assault defence lawyer can help you determine which defences may be applicable to your case and develop a strategy to defend against the charges. They can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case to support your defence.
About Slaferek Law
Our team of experienced sexual assault defence lawyers is committed to protecting your rights and work tirelessly to build a strong defence strategy for your case. We will work closely with you every step of the way, providing personalized attention and guidance to help you navigate the legal system. Learn more about SLaferek Law.
If you or a loved one is facing charges of invitation to sexual touching, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer a free initial consultation.