When people think about the stigma that can be attached to a conviction, many people often think of sexual offences. Even in prison, even on remand, the sex offender is a pariah. A conviction not only means a possible lengthy sentence (in Alberta, the starting point guideline sentence – not a mandatory minimum, but a baseline that will either be raised or lowered depending on aggravating of mitigating factors – for a major sexual assault is 3 years jail) and enrolment in the federal Sex Offender Registry, but a blemish on one’s reputation that can last a lifetime.
The central elements of a sexual offence is that the act in question, whatever that act might be, was without consent and for a sexual purpose.
Sexual offences include:
Any unwanted touching for a sexual purpose.
Any unwanted touching of a person under the age of 16 years for a sexual purpose.
Invitation to Sexual Touching:
Wherein an adult “invites” a person under the age of 16 to touch them for a sexual purpose.
Aggravated Sexual Assault:
Any unwanted touching for a sexual purpose that results in the victim being wounded, maimed, disfigured, and/or having their life endangered.
Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm:
Any unwanted touching for a sexual purpose committed with the objective foresight (or recklessness) that the touching would subject the victim to the risk of some kind of bodily harm (and bodily harm being manifested). It does not matter if the offender did not intend the harm actually caused.
Sexual Assault with a Weapon:
Any unwanted touching for a sexual purpose that involves an object (“any” object) being used as a weapon.