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In Ontario, there is not a certain amount of time during which sexual assault charges must be laid. Because of this, years—even decades—can pass, before someone might face criminal charges related to an alleged activity. Charges brought so long after the fact can be a surprise to the person facing them, leaving them reeling and unsure of how to proceed.
While the passage of time could make it harder for the crown to make its case, this does not mean that the accused should sit idly by. Instead, if you are in this situation you should be proactive and quickly work to begin to build a defence. For most people, the first step is to contact a criminal defence lawyer.
It is likely that a 76-year-old man from Toronto, has done that very thing. He was recently arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault, following a police investigation. The alleged incident took place almost 30 years ago.
According to a Toronto Police Constable, law enforcement officers commenced an investigation into the matter after a woman made accusations, last fall. That investigation, which lasted several months, culminated in the man’s arrest.
At this point it is unclear what was uncovered in the course of the investigation that resulted in his arrest and what will be used at trial against him. It is also unclear how the man will want to respond to the charges. Since the penalties for a conviction can be harsh, and if convicted, he might spend the rest of his life in prison, he has a lot to lose if he does not take action.