Sexual assault is a severe offence under section 271 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
In addition, around 4.7 million women (30%) aged from 15 experience sexual abuse. What is more, sexual harassment can take place both inside and outside a relationship.
Well, it’s a widespread problem. What is more, it happens easily! Thus, the number of people with allegations of sexual harassment is huge in number. Still, many of the victims wind up not filing a case.
Since it’s a real problem, it’s better to know about it. Here, I will flesh out everything you need to know about sexual assault and sexual assault sentence in Canada.
What is considered sexual assault?
Any sort of unwanted sexual act conducted on one person without consent by another is called sexual assault.
I am using sexual assault as an umbrella term. But there are some differences in sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct. Regardless, all of them are punishable if you report them.
Let’s know more about these.
What does the Supreme Court say?
The Supreme court asserts that when one individual violates the sexual integrity of another individual is sexual assault. Note that it doesn’t have to be bodily touches only.
The central focus is the violation of sexual integrity. The attacker can be of any gender. Regarding sexual assault in a marriage, one spouse can charge another spouse with sexual abuse.
- The criminal code states more aspects. Learn about them from the points below.
- Sexual assault involves a diverse range of behaviour.
- Any not- consensual act executed in a sexual manner forms sexual assault.
- From hitting someone around the gluteal region to rape is considered sexual assault.
What about the sentencing for sexual assault?
Punishment for Sexual Assault will depend on various factors. Since sexual assault is an indictable offence, the accused will get the highest 10 years of imprisonment.
The lowest period for jail involving sexual offences is 18 months. Read on because there is more to discuss.
Is there a mandatory minimum punishment for sexual assault?
A minimum punishment will be applied if the complainant is below age 16. On the other hand, if the court goes by following an indictment and the complainant is below 16, the mandatory minimum punishment will be 1 year.
What is more, the court might process by following the summary conviction. In that case, there is a minimum of 6-month punishment mandated.
Punishment for Sexual Assault with a Weapon/ Threating a Third Party/ Causing physical Harm
First of all, the person who commits this will be guilty of an indictable crime. Also, they will be held liable. If someone uses a firearm, there will be a maximum of 14 years and a minimum of 4 years of imprisonment. And, the course in jail doesn’t exceed more than 15 years.
Punishment for Aggravated Sexual Assault
Sometimes the accused can physically harm the complainant. Overall, if someone endangers the victim’s life, they will first be charged with a serious offence and held liable for it. And the punishment will be lifetime imprisonment or a minimum of 4 years of imprisonment.
Punishment for rape
Rape isn’t specified anymore in the Canadian Criminal Code. The present rules dictate that there are three sorts of sexual assaults. These are- sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon or causing physical harm, and aggravated sexual assault.
These are different levels of sexual abuse. As a result, they have different penalties.
In level 1 sexual assault, the offender will receive a maximum of 10 years of jail.
If someone sexually assaults a person under 16 will get a maximum of 14 years of jail. Moreover, a sexual offence with a weapon will result in a maximum of 14 years of prison.
Besides, if it’s an aggravated sexual assault, the defendant has a maximum of 16 years of jail.
Concluding remark: Can a sexual assault be prosecuted without evidence?
This is one of the most asked questions for sexual assault cases. Anyway, most sexual assault charges are judged through witness testimony.
Witness testimony simply means that a person will visit the court to say what they saw. Additionally, there is no need for forensic evidence, DNA test, visual proof, or other external proof.
All things considered, the witness testimony is enough to prosecute a sexual assault case. That means, in terms of a sexual offence, the evidence doesn’t have to be tangible.