This article will examine what are the elements of sexual assault in Ontario.
Sexual assault is a serious crime in Ontario and is defined as any form of sexual contact that is non-consensual or forced. It includes a wide range of behaviors, from unwanted touching to rape.
There are several elements that must be present in order for an act to be considered sexual assault in Ontario. These elements are:
- Non-consent: The most important element of sexual assault is non-consent. This means that the victim did not give their voluntary and informed agreement to the sexual contact. Non-consent can be expressed or implied. Expressed non-consent means that the victim clearly and directly told the perpetrator that they did not want to engage in sexual activity. Implied non-consent means that the victim did not explicitly say no, but their actions or circumstances indicated that they did not want to engage in sexual activity.
- Sexual contact: Sexual assault involves some form of sexual contact, whether it is sexual touching or penetration. Sexual contact can include any type of touching of a sexual nature, such as fondling or groping, or any type of penetration, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration.
- Force or coercion: Sexual assault can involve the use of physical force or threats, or it can be accomplished through coercion or manipulation. Coercion can involve psychological pressure or manipulation, such as threatening to harm the victim or their loved ones if they do not agree to sexual activity.
- Absence of consent: In order for an act to be considered sexual assault, the victim must not have given their consent. This means that they must not have freely and willingly agreed to the sexual contact.
It is important to note that a person cannot give their consent to sexual activity if they are incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol, if they are unconscious, or if they are under the age of consent (which is 16 in Ontario).
Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have long-lasting physical and emotional effects on the victim. It is important for all individuals to understand the elements of sexual assault and to always obtain explicit consent before engaging in any sexual activity. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, it is important to seek help and support from trusted friends, family members, or criminal defence lawyers.
If you or someone you know is looking for representation in a criminal matter contact De Boyrie Law today for a free consultation at this link. If your matter is immediate please contact us at (416) 727-1389. De Boyrie Law serves Toronto, Vaughan, and the Greater Toronto Area.
Stacey is a student at De Boyrie Law. She is currently studying to complete the BAR and is expected to join our firm once she has completed studies.