Because allegations of sexual offences involving minors evoke such strong public reaction, and because the penalties for such crimes are extremely serious, anyone accused of a child sex offence should have legal representation the moment it becomes apparent that an investigation could happen. Not everyone accused of a child sex offence is guilty, and in any case, the prosecution will tell its side of the story. Every defendant has a right to tell his or hers.
If you have been charged with a sex crime involving a minor, then the first thing you need to understand is the nature of the specific charge. For example, consider the charge of sexual exploitation.
A person charged with sexual exploitation is accused of engaging in sexual acts with a youth younger than 18. The relationship between the accused and the youth must have been such that the accused was in a position of authority or trust. For a specific example of this kind of charge, please see our previous post about the case of a former high school teacher.
Note, too, that sexual exploitation charges are often brought in conjunction with other charges such as sexual assault.
Another very specific charge is sexual interference, which involves touching, for a sexual purpose, the body of a child younger than 16. The touching could be direct or indirect, and could involve the aggressor’s own body or another object. Along these same lines, the crime of invitation to sexual touching involves, for a sexual purpose, inviting, counselling or inciting a minor younger than 16 to touch the body of another person.
Internet luring is another specific sexual offence that requires careful defence preparation. You can read more about the charge of Internet luring in our recent post, “Mandatory minimum sentence avoided after police violate Charter rights.”