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Sexual Interference  Charges – Withdrawn

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As a criminal lawyer in Calgary, I recently represented a man charged with sexual interference contrary to section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada. In this case, his stepdaughter claimed he touched her sexually when she was approximately five or six years old. She came forward approximately 6 years after this alleged incident. My client maintained his innocence. Early in the process, an offer to plead guilty with a minimum sentence was offered to my client. He refused because he was innocent, and he wanted his day in court.

For someone who has never been to court, he was scared. Understandably so. No one wants to face the risk of a criminal record or jail, especially when you are innocent. .

Section 151 states:

Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years

a) Is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year or
b)  Is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days.

Convictions under this section come with automatic ancillary orders such as a requirement to register with the Sex Offender Registry and such as a section 161 Court Order which prohibits a person from entering or remaining at certain places and being around people under certain ages.

My client asserted his innocence. We made strategic decisions on where to proceed to court and how. We prepared. We turned down an enticing offer which would have mitigated the overall punishment. However, my client believed in me, and I believed in him. Today, he got his life back. The charges were withdrawn.

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