Edmonton Sexual Assault Lawyer: Identifying Sex Crimes Offences
A sex crime charge is one of the most difficult charges a defendant can face. There is a significant social stigma of being charged with a sex crime, even if you are never convicted. You could face permanent damage to your reputation, your career and your family. If convicted, you could be registered on Canada’s National Sex Offender Registry, which could have a detrimental effect on your future. Further, it is not uncommon for a sexual assault charge to be laid solely upon a complainant’s statement. You may face charges in the absence of physical evidence to prove the charge.
What is Sexual Assault?
The Criminal Code defines sexual assault, which can be simply a contact of a “sexual nature” applied intentionally and without the consent of the other person or it can be a threat by act or gesture to apply force of a sexual nature to another person. A sexual assault is said to occur where a complainant is subject to non-consensual sexual activity by reason of the application of force by another person.
Sexual assault activities can range from groping to non-consensual sexual intercourse. Sexual assault may also be charged as offences such as sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault causing bodily harm, aggravated sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, and forcible confinement, among others.
Factors in Determining if an Assault was Sexual in Nature
To determine if an assault was sexual in nature, the court will examine the following factors:
- What were the circumstances surrounding the incident?
- What words or gestures accompanied the act?
- Which part of the body was touched?
- What was the nature of the touching?
Defending Sexual Assault Charges
It is critical to mount a thorough and complete defence to sexual assault charges. The most common defences are as follows:
- Identity. The complainant must be able to identify the accused as the person who committed the sexual assault. Sometimes forensic tools (e.g., DNA, fingerprints) are employed to establish or verify identity. Sex did not occur. When the accused denies that the act even occurred, credibility is often an issue between the accused and the complainant.
- There was voluntary consent. The courts will find that consent is not available from the complainant in some situations, such as being too intoxicated to consent, not having the mental capacity to consent, revoking consent during the activity, being a minor under age 16. The complainant may have a motive for a false complaint. In other words, the defence may argue that there was sexual activity, but it was consensual between the parties.
- Mistaken belief in consent. An honest error may be claimed based on the complainant’s communication of consent through words or actions. However, the accused cannot rely on being intoxicated, willfully blind or reckless or not taking reasonable steps to ascertain if the complainant was consenting.
When sexual assault allegations are historical, they can be very difficult to defend against. It is not unusual for sexual assault allegations to be made many years after an alleged incident, particularly when the incident involves a child. Rod J.A. Gregory has the skill and experience to overcome challenges in defending historical sexual assault charges.
The Need for Legal Protection
To best defend a sexual assault or sex crime case, you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who is committed to standing by your side. Rod J.A. Gregory is this lawyer. He is a dedicated Edmonton sexual assault lawyer with over 25 years of experience, applying great attention to detail and using thorough representation to make a name for himself in the criminal defence sector.
Understanding your rights and the nuances of criminal law on your own are nearly impossible. Rod J.A. Gregory will focus on a legal strategy to properly defend you on these most serious crimes.
Building a Strong Case
In order properly defend a client in a sexual assault case, Mr. Gregory may be required to apply for the disclosure of third party records. This is a very complex and difficult application. Mr. Gregory has the experience needed to advance positions dealing with the complainant’s prior sexual history or in obtaining medical and psychiatric records. Mr. Gregory may also determine that expert evidence including psychologists, private investigators, and polygraph experts are required.
A Jury Trial
Many sexual assault trials are conducted with a jury. A jury does not rule on the admissibility of evidence but are the finders of fact. They watch and assess witnesses to determine whether or not they are credible. The defence lawyer cross examines witnesses in front of the jury to expose the frailties in the evidence, inconsistencies in evidence.
It is critical in a jury trial to prepare to give evidence if an accused person decides to testify. You would decide with your criminal lawyer whether or not you would elect to have a trial by jury but it is a critical right in the criminal justice system for serious charges to have a criminal trial heard and judged by your peers.
Contact Rod Gregory – The Defence Lawyer
Mr. Gregory has experience in sexual assault cases because he takes the time to get to know you and the details of your case on a personal level. He has the ability to assess the credibility of the alleged victim, determine how to best present your side, demonstrate your credibility to the court and cross-examine the complainant to challenge his or her credibility. Rod J.A. Gregory has successfully defended sexual assault cases both before a judge and jury and in judge alone trials.
Sex crimes are a highly serious matter. Sexual assault and related charges potentially have serious consequences for the defendant. It is critical that you retain an Edmonton sexual assault lawyer who will vigourously defend and stragegize your case. If you are a suspect in a sex crime, and the police want to speak to you, contact Mr. Gregory first. If you have been charged with sexual assault or related sex crime, contact Rod J.A. Gregory for criminal defence representation now at 780-993-6999. Understanding your rights and the nuances of criminal law on your own are nearly impossible. Rod J.A. Gregory will focus on a legal strategy to properly defend you on these most serious crimes.