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What Are Sex Crimes & The Criminal Charges?

Experienced Criminal Lawyers

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What Are Sex Crimes & The Criminal Charges?

Posted on February 13, 2021

Ross Lutz Calgary Lawyers Sex Crime Charges

When you’re being charged with sex crimes or a sexual offence, it’s essential to know what the consequences are for you. The law views sexual offences very seriously because of the potential for both physical and mental trauma. Because of this, the charges and punishments for sexual crimes are very severe. There are various types of sexual offences, and the charges for each differ.

If you are convicted of certain sex crimes, you will have to register on the National Sex Offender Register. While the NSOR is not available to the general public, registering as a sexual offender will change your life in a significant way. For more information about the sex offender’s list and other common questions, see our blog about it here. You need to understand the potential charges you’re facing, along with contacting a criminal defence lawyer, to defend your case immediately.

Sexual Assault

Anyone that commits sexual assault can face up to a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment. The maximum sentence can be increased up to 14 years imprisonment if the complainant is under the age of 16. If you are found guilty of sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or committing bodily harm, you are looking at a minimum sentence of five years with a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.

Aggravated sexual assault is the most severe charge and covers any sexual assault where the accused wounds, maims, or otherwise majorly disfigures and endangers the complainant’s life. If you are charged in a case of aggravated sexual assault, you could be facing a life sentence.

Sex Offences Involving Children

The law views sex crimes against children extremely aggravating. The social stigma around these charges is extreme, and you will find that your life changes drastically after being charged with a sex offence against a child. Sexual assault charges carry heavier sentences when minors are involved. Additionally, there is a myriad of other sex offences associated when a child is involved that you could be charged with.

Sexual Interference

Anyone that touches any part of the body of someone under the age of 16 for sexual purposes, either directly or indirectly, can be imprisoned for a minimum of a year and a maximum of 14. If you are found guilty on a summary conviction, you will be facing a minimum sentence of 90 days, with a maximum of two years. However, some provinces have struck this provision down. This is why it is so important to have a competent and reputable defence lawyer who understands this area of the law.

Invitation To Sexual Touching

Any person who invites an individual under the age of 16 to sexually touch the body of another person in a sexual manner, or the body of the individual under the age of 16, can be convicted with an invitation to sexual touching. These charges come with a minimum sentence of a year and a maximum of 14. If you are charged with a summary conviction, you will face a minimum penalty of 90 days with a maximum sentence of two years.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation describes the exploitation of a relationship where a power dynamic is present. A person who is in a position of power or trust above a young person who then sexually exploits them by touching them sexually or inviting/counselling them to touch another person’s body can be charged with sexual exploitation. Charges for sexual exploitation include a minimum sentence of a year and a maximum of 14. The charge for a summary conviction is a minimum sentence of 90 days with a maximum sentence of two years.

Child Pornography

The production, possession, and distribution of child pornography are viewed very seriously under the law and can have severe consequences. For more information about child pornography charges and common questions, see our blog here. Child pornography charges typically have much higher minimums than other Criminal Code charges and come with a social stigma that can be difficult to overcome.

Sexual Exploitation Of Person With Disability

Anyone in a position of trust or authority over a person with a mental or physical disability who sexually exploits that individual can face an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of five years.


Anyone who knowingly has sexual intercourse with someone that they have known blood relations with can be charged with incest. The Criminal Code classifies sexual relations between half brothers and sisters under incestuous activity. If the other person involved is under the age of 16, you could be facing a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 14 years. Incest has extreme social stigmas. If you are being charged, you must speak to a criminal defence lawyer immediately.

Ross Lutz Barristers Sex Crimes


Bestiality is defined as any sexual contact with an animal. Any person that commits bestiality is guilty of an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of 10 years. If a minor is present when the act of bestiality is committed, or a person entices a minor to commit bestiality, the maximum sentence is bumped up to 14 years.


Voyeurism describes the act of observing and recording another person in a situation with a reasonable expectation of privacy without their consent. For example, voyeurism describes the spectating of any event where the other person might reasonably be nude or engaged in explicit sexual activity. It also includes any recordings that are made for a sexual purpose. Punishments for voyeurism can consist of a sentence of five years.

Publication Of An Intimate Picture Without Consent

Anyone that publishes an intimate picture or recording without consent, otherwise commonly known as revenge porn, could be facing a sentence of five years. You can be punished for even showing or sharing these intimate images with other people. You can read more about revenge porn and the consequences in our recent blog here.

When you are being charged with a sexual offence, you need to contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Sexual violence is viewed very seriously by the law and also by members of the public. There is an extreme amount of social stigma around sex crimes, and anyone that commits an offence and is charged for it may find their life is dramatically changed afterwards.

Don’t leave your freedom up to chance. We are serious lawyers that defend serious crimes every day. Let us defend you. Contact our team at Ross Lutz Barristers today to see how we can help you.