Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto | Posner Craig Stein LLP
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Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer in Toronto: Providing Exceptional Legal Representation and Expert Defense Strategies


Contact Posner Craig Stein LLP right now if you have been arrested for or charged with sexual assault. You do not have to face the criminal justice system alone.


Sexual assault charges are serious and can have long-lasting consequences. If someone brings allegations of sexual assault against you, it can ruin your reputation, tear apart your family, and lead to harsh penalties such as a prison sentence and being required to register as a sex offender.


Based on decades of experience defending sexual assault cases, Posner Craig Stein LLP will develop a solid strategy to defend you against the charge you face and advocate for your freedom. We have over 85 years of combined experience representing clients in sex offence cases. Let us put our knowledge and skills to work for you.


For a free consultation with a criminal lawyer in Toronto, call our firm or contact us online today. We will protect your rights and fight for your future.


If you have been convicted of sexual assault, the effects can infiltrate every aspect of your life. You risk losing your job, going to prison, losing your reputation in the community and being stripped of basic rights and freedoms.


You need a defence lawyer to guide you through the complicated legal process. Posner Craig Stein LLP provides our clients with strategic and sophisticated advocacy. We understand how frightening potential imprisonment, fines, and other punishments are. When you hire us, we will offer the emotional support and legal services you need during this challenging ordeal.


Every client’s case is unique, and we approach each one with fresh eyes to determine the right strategy to reach the desired result. We will get to know you and work to meet your needs at every step. You can count on us to stand with you until the end.


In Canada, sexual assault can be defined as any sexual contact that is not consensual. According to the Supreme Court of Canada, sexual assault does not only depend on whether the action causes contact with a specific body part. Instead, it depends on whether the sexual activity violates the sexual integrity of the victim.


Sexual assault is divided into different levels based on the severity of the offence, the part of the body the defendant touched, the words and gestures that accompanied the act, and other relevant factors. A Level 1 sexual assault is an assault involving circumstances of a sexual nature that violates the victim’s sexual integrity and causes either no injury or minor physical injury.


Higher levels of assault exist based on different aspects of the crime. A Level 2 sexual assault is defined as sexual assault with threats to a third party, use of a weapon, or that causes bodily harm. A person commits the offence while committing sexual assault if they:


  • Threaten to cause bodily harm to someone other than the victim;
  • Use, carry, or threaten to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon;
  • Are a party to the offence with someone else; or
  • Cause the victim any bodily harm.


A Level 3 sexual assault is also called “aggravated sexual assault.” A person commits the crime of aggravated sexual assault if they disfigure, wound, main, or endanger the victim’s life while committing sexual assault.


The victim and perpetrator can be a man or woman. They can be opposite sexes or the same sex. Even a spouse can be charged with committing sexual assault against their husband or wife.


The Crown must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction for sexual assault:


  • The accused intentionally applied force on the victim
  • The victim didn’t consent to the force
  • The defendant knew the victim didn’t consent
  • The touching was of a sexual nature


To understand what it takes to be convicted, an understanding of each element of sexual assault is required.


Understanding the Intentional Application of Force


The force used by a defendant while committing a sexual assault need not be violent such as acts of forced intercourse.   It can be a gentle touch, or involve groping or rubbing. It can even involve indirect contact, such as using an object to touch the victim. The application of force needs to be intentional.  Accidental or involuntary touching does not amount to a sexual assault because it is not intentional.


Understanding the Absence of Consent


​Consent concerns the victim’s state of mind during the crime. Consent is specifically voluntary and cannot result from fraud, threats, coercion, or the abuse of a position of authority or trust. Even if someone consents to the sexual conduct, it can be deemed an absence of consent if fraud or other exploitative circumstances contributed to the victim’s decision.  Sometimes, a victim of sexual assault is under the effects of alcohol and/or drugs.  In such circumstances, the victim may not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity.  A defendant who engages in sexual activity with a person that is highly intoxicated may be exposed to prosecution for sexual assault.


Understanding the Knowledge of No Consent


The knowledge of the absence of consent can mean knowing the victim did not consent because they said so. It can also mean the defendant knew the victim might not consent to the sexual activity but continued without asking for consent.


Understanding the Sexual Nature of Touching


The question a judge or jury must answer is whether the touching would appear to be of a sexual nature to a casual observer in all situations.


Canadian law punishes sexual assault according to the type of offence and related factors, such as the victim’s age and whether the defendant is a repeat offender. Minimum and maximum penalties must be observed, and penalties also depend on whether the case the Crown proceeds by summary conviction or by indictment.


The penalty ranges include:


  • Indictment for the sexual assault of a victim under 16 – one to fourteen years imprisonment
  • Summary conviction for sexual assault of a victim under 16 – six months to two years minus one-day imprisonment
  • Indictment for the sexual assault of a victim over 16 – Up to ten years imprisonment
  • Sexual assault leading to bodily harm – Zero to fourteen years imprisonment
  • Sexual assault with a restricted or prohibited firearm causing bodily harm – five to fourteen years imprisonment
  • Sexual assault with a restricted or prohibited firearm by a repeat offender leading to bodily harm – seven to fourteen years imprisonment
  • Sexual assault causing bodily harm to a victim under 16 – five years to life imprisonment
  • Aggravated sexual assault using a prohibited or restricted firearm – five years to life imprisonment


An experienced sexual assault lawyer can help you navigate the potential punishments and seek a lesser charge or dismissed case.


Although there are several kinds of sexual assault charges that can laid against a defendant, the Crown must be able to prove the same four basic elements for each type of assault. Those elements are intentionally applied force, lack of consent, knowledge of lack of consent, and touching of a sexual nature. The categories of sexual assault charges in Canada are:


  • Common sexual assault – This type of sexual assault occurs when someone commits assault of a sexual nature but does not physically injure the victim. Only the four basic elements must be proven.
  • Sexual assault with a weapon, causing bodily harm, or threats to a third party – In addition to the four elements required to prove sexual assault, there must also have been bodily harm, threats to another party, or use of a weapon for this type of charge to be made. Sexual assault that causes bodily harm can lead to severe penalties.
  • Aggravated sexual assault – Aggravated sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature that leads to the victim’s severe injuries. In addition to the four elements of sexual assault, there must be proof that the victim was disfigured, maimed, or wounded, or their life was at risk during the assault.


For the purposes of a sexual assault charge, consent means that a person voluntarily agrees to participate in a sexual act with another person. They must communicate clearly by words or actions that they consent to the activity that is about to occur.


Consent must be present during sexual contact. It must also be ongoing throughout the activity. Someone can withdraw their initial consent at any time, and the other person must stop the sex act.


Even if someone consented to a specific sexual activity in the past, this does not mean they consent to any kind of sexual touching in the future. Consent must occur for every type of activity every time it happens.


Canadian law determines that no consent is given if:


  • The victim is not able (or does not have the capacity) to consent.
  • The agreement for sexual activity was made by someone other than the victim.
  • The victim expressed through actions or words that s/he did not agree to participate in the sexual act.
  • The victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated.
  • The victim consents at first but then expresses a lack of agreement to continue the sexual activity later.
  • The defendant abuses their position of authority, trust, or power and induces the victim into the sexual conduct.


The age of consent is the age when someone can legally agree to engage in sexual activity with someone. Age of consent laws apply to all sexual conduct, including kissing,  fondling, oral sex, or sexual intercourse.


In Canada, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16. The age of consent can sometimes be higher under specific circumstances, such as in relationships of dependency, trust, or authority.


A 16- or 17-year-old cannot give consent if:


  • They are dependent of their sexual partner
  • Their sexual partner is in a position of authority or trust over them
  • The relationship is exploitative


The close-in-age exception permits consent by minors if the sexual activity is between two people within a specific age range. The exception includes these age gaps:


  • Five years – A 14 or 15-year-old can consent to sexual acts if their partner is fewer than five years older and no relationship of dependency, trust, or authority or other exploitation against the younger partner exists.
  • Two years – A 12 or 13-year-old can give consent to sexual activity if their partner is fewer than two years older and there is no relationship of trust, dependency, or authority or exploitation against the 12 or 13-year-old


When you hire a Toronto sexual assault lawyer, they will review your case thoroughly to determine which defences they can use against your sexual assault charge. The defence strategy in your case will depend on the evidence and what your legal team believes could achieve the best possible result.


The most common defences include:


  • The crime did not occur – A basic defence is that the alleged sexual activity never happened. Eyewitness testimony, DNA evidence, and other hard facts could support this defence strategy.
  • Error of identity – Sometimes a witness may wrongly identifiy a defendant, or the victim makes false accusations as punishment or revenge. Either way, an alibi can place you elsewhere during the sexual assault. Fingerprints, DNA, and other evidence might identify the actual perpetrator and prove your innocence.
  • Consent existed – Although the victim might have accused you of sexual assault, you could argue they consented to the sexual act. If you received consent before the sexual conduct began and the victim did not withdraw consent at any point, you did not commit a crime. However, proving the other person consented can be complicated. One way to bolster your argument is by challenging the victim’s credibility. Your plan can backfire if evidence is presented of the victim’s intoxication or compromised mental faculties during the offence.
  • Mistaken belief of consent – You might have mistaken the victim’s words or actions as consent. Sometimes a mistake happens. The circumstances related to their behaviour – their communicated words and actions – could have led you to believe they consented to the sexual activity that ultimately took place.


If you’re facing sexual assault allegations, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible. You might think you can wait and see whether the alleged victim drops the complaint against you or take your time preparing your defence. However, the longer you wait, the more you risk a negative result, including the possibility of a substantial jail sentence.


Posner Craig Stein LLP can assist you from the early stages of your case. We can anticipate potential obstacles and find ways to overcome them, create viable defences, and prepare for the upcoming trial. We will explore every solution to try to reduce your charge or convince the Crown lawyer to drop the case. The path we take will depend on the facts and what we believe best suits your interests.


Don’t leave the fate of your future in the hands of an inexperienced defence team. Here at Posner Craig Stein LLP, we are willing to go the extra mile to deliver exceptional customer service. We handle all our cases in a collaborative manner, so you get the benefit of our combined skills and experience. We stay up-to-date on changes in the law and on the court decisions that interpret that law so we can make the best case for you. On top of that, we will treat you with respect and compassion throughout your case.


Call us at 1.416.391.2118 today for a confidential consultation if you were arrested for sexual assault or face charges and need legal representation during court proceedings.


If you’re being accused of sexual assault, you may begin facing discrimination in your community. Sexual assault charges can have irreparable damage to one’s reputation. The stakes are high, and you can’t afford any guesswork when choosing legal representation. At PCS, we have the right lawyers to defend you. We are recognized among the leading criminal defence lawyers in North York. Our lawyers are considered an authority in defending sexual offence victims. They are respected by judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers all over Ontario. Given our extensive experience and knowledge of this area of law, our lawyers are called upon to deal with high-profile cases as well as complex sexual offences that make the headlines. We work to get our clients acquitted or their charges withdrawn.


  • We deliver discreet, effective and professional legal representation
  • Our clients are assured of the best possible results for their cases
  • We are great cross-examiners
  • We have extensive courtroom experience
  • We offer highly competitive prices


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