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If you’re found guilty of sexual assault charges in the Toronto area, you face severe penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life.

These penalties can include lengthy terms of imprisonment, but a guilty finding also marks one for life as a sexual predator. Along with this stigma, you will be subject to the onerous conditions imposed by your mandatory placement on the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. Thus, if you’re charged with sexual assault in Toronto consult with a highly skilled sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible to begin mounting an efficient defense.

The sooner you secure the services of a Toronto-area sexual assault lawyer, the quicker your lawyer can start working on a defense strategy to beat the charges, or otherwise secure the most favorable outcome possible. In many cases one of the first things your sexual assault lawyer will work on is securing your release from police custody under the least restrictive bail conditions possible.

The sexual assault lawyers at the Greater Toronto Area law offices of Mass Tsang are highly experienced in helping their clients navigate the complexities of sexual assault law and have successfully defended hundreds of cases.

Depending upon the nature of the charges, your Mass Tsang sexual assault lawyer will use the following strategies as warranted by evidence and other factors:

Seek to have the charges dropped
Establish and present evidence of your innocence
Challenge the prosecution’s physical evidence
Challenge witness testimony
Argue that Charter Rights were breached
Argue innocence based on consent
Negotiate and plea for favorable sentencing terms if convicted
Appeal the conviction if warranted
Argue against inclusion on the sex offender registry
Sexual Assault      —
can include everything from inappropriate touching to rape. Penalties, that can include jail time and mandatory inclusion on the sexual offender database, with a guilty finding are typically based on how extensive the physical element of the assault was and other factors relating to the accused and relationship with the victim.

A sexual assault charge is a grave crime in Canada that could lead to incarceration and registration in the National Sex Offender Registry and National DNA Data Bank if convicted.

Even mere sexual assault allegations are sometimes more than enough to damage reputation. Once there is a formal charge, you need to retain the services of a capable criminal lawyer. Mass Tsang has a team of sexual assault lawyers who have had decades of experience handling such cases. If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, call and arrange for a free consultation to know your rights and defence options.

What Is Sexual Assault?

As per the Criminal Code of Canada, sexual assault is a form of assault that is sexual in nature. It encompasses a wide range of offences – both with or without physical contact. To constitute a sexual assault, these three conditions must exist:

1

The Use of Force

Force, in this case, does not necessarily have to involve the use of coercion or physical violence. Once the person touches or threatens to touch another person, that can already be deemed as an application of force.

2

Sexual Context

It occurs when another person's sexual integrity is violated and damaged. The basis for determining if an assault is sexual is the circumstances that surround the attack, which parts of the body were touched, spoken words, specific acts and the perpetrator's intention.

3

Lack of Consent

A voluntary agreement, clearly expressed in words or conduct, to participate in sexual activity by the person concerned is consent. The lack of, on the other hand, is the distinction between sexual contact and sexual assault – in as far as the law is concerned. Consent cannot be given if a person is incapable due to intoxication, a disability, or other reasons. Consent also cannot be given if the person is in a situation or position of trust, power, or authority is being abused. The law further considers a relationship of dependency, age (16 years or younger), as grounds to constitute the lack of consent.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

What Types of Sexual Assault
Can Be Filed Against You?

The definition of sexual assault in the Criminal Code is broad. It can, however, be classified into different types based on the nature of the act committed and the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. Furthermore, the severity of the act determines the seriousness of the sexual assault.

Sexual Assault with Physical Contact

The worst of sexual assault crimes involves physical contact. It may be consummated (penetration) or not and includes other acts.

  • Rape or Sexual Relations with Penetration
  • Attempted Rape
  • Sexual Touching/Contact

Sexual Assault without Physical Contact

This form of assault may not involve physical contact but is still sexual in nature. It encompasses these manifestations:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Exposure to sexual acts by force such as pornography or actual sexual activity
  • Exhibiting or exposing genitalia
  • Taking photos or making videos or other recordings of a child in sexual nature
  • Inciting or forcing a child to touch own body or masturbate

Sexual Assaults Based on Perpetrator
and Victim Relationship

  • Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse
    The accused is a member of immediate or extended family.
  • Extrafamilial Sexual Abuse
    The accused is not a member of the immediate or extended family but an acquaintance or a stranger.
  • Sexual Assault in Conjugal Context
    Spousal rape, a form of spousal violence, committed between partners of all ages. Partners can be married, in a civil or de facto union, or dating.
  • Sexual Misconduct
    Physical and mental health professionals who take advantage of the professional relationship by having a sexual relation, making inappropriate remarks or gestures that are sexual in nature, or committing acts that are derogatory to the dignity of the profession as defined by the relevant professional code could be charged with this form of sexual assault. Even intimate relationships that may be mutually desired and egalitarian fall under this category.

What Are the Levels and Punishments
for Sexual Assault?

1

Level 1

Any form of sexual activity forced on another person, which includes sexual activity without consent, body contact that is sexual. The victim may or may not have minor physical injuries. A conviction for level 1 sexual assault can land you in jail for up to 10 years.

2

Level 2

A sexual assault involving the use or threat to use a weapon. Threatening the victim's friends or family members, causing bodily harm to the victim, or committing the sexual assault with another person falls under this level in which a conviction carries up to 14 years in jail.

3

Level 3

The most severe case of sexual assault occurs when the perpetrator maims, disfigure, or endanger the life of the victim. A conviction of this crime, also called aggravated sexual assault, is punishable by up to life in prison.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

What Are the Most Common Defences
Against Sexual Assault Charges?


In cases that involve the same sexual assault charge, the circumstances vary, which means that the criminal lawyer will have to think of all the possibilities and prepare a proper defence. However, there are the five most commonly used defences.

1

Factual Innocence

Once you retain the services of a Mass Tsang, the sexual assault lawyer will try to gather facts and evidence to show that you were not there, could not have applied force to the complainant, and more.

2

Identity

The sexual assault lawyer will challenge the accuser to positively identify the accused person of committing the sexual assault. Do note that forensic tools may be used to confirm the identity of the attacker.

3

Sex Did Not Occur

The burden of proving that there was a sexual activity is on the accuser. In this defence strategy, it often comes down to a battle of credibility. For this reason, you should retain a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto who is well- versed in defending this type of case, one of which is gathering evidence to put the testimonies of the accuser in doubt.

4

Consensual Sexual Activity

In many sexual assault cases, it comes down to the distinction between a sexual activity or sexual assault – with consent being the core issue. If there is, indeed, a sexual activity, then the criminal defence lawyer will – among others – gather information and evidence to show that there was consent or discredit the accuser. Otherwise, consent may not matter if it cannot be shown that there was sexual activity.

5

Honest But Mistaken Belief in Consent

Yet another common defence that could be presented is that the mistaken belief in consent on the part of the accused. Arguing that the complainant consented has its limitations. For example, self-induced intoxication does not qualify. The best Toronto sexual assault lawyer would argue on behalf of the client that there was a reasonable belief the complainant was consenting.

Why You Need the Best Toronto Sexual
Assault Lawyer to Defend Your Case?

In sexual assault cases, the Crown must prove that the elements that constitute such a case are present – beyond a reasonable doubt. As stated in the previous section, there are common defences that your lawyer can use. In theory, planning a strategy sounds uncomplicated. However, only sexual assault lawyers with years upon years of experience can navigate the intricacies of the law to get the case dropped, secure an acquittal, or negotiate a reduced sentence.

The burden of proof may be on the Crown. But a successful defence is not merely a matter of arguing against each piece of evidence presented by the accuser. In some instances, whereas possible and necessary, the sexual assault lawyer may also go on the offensive. It may even include winning your case on technicalities, such as finding flaws in the manner of arrest conducted by the police. Yes, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you do have rights before and after an arrest.

A sexual assault charge carries heavy penalties. Because of that, you should consider your options and choose the best criminal defence lawyers you can find in Toronto.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

How Much Does It Cost to Get Off
Sexual Assault Charges?

In case you are not aware, there are two primary payment schemes used by sexual assault lawyers in Toronto – hourly or block.

For minor sexual assault cases, you may explore the possibility of paying for legal services on an hourly basis. Most of the time, though, the most recommended option is to choose block fees. It is an option that a Mass Tsang sexual assault lawyer can better explain. Essentially, you agree to a set of services without worrying about an unexpected increase in the number of hours worked. If there are unforeseen circumstances that necessitate more hours, you still pay the same block fee as agreed upon.

A block fee is recommended for sexual assault cases,
especially for an aggravated sexual assault case.

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