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Sexual Assault - Engel and Associates

Sexual assault is a serious and all too common problem in Canada. While the long-term physical and mental damage to the victim is not to be ignored, the stigma attached to being accused of sexual assault can cause irreparable damage to a person’s reputation, especially in cases where the accused is in fact innocent. If you are accused of such an assault, it is imperative to contact a sexual assault lawyer, someone who can effectively defend you against these particularly harsh criminal charges.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is commonly defined as any form of sexual contact without the voluntary consent of both parties. It is not limited to non-consensual intercourse; it can extend to include non-consensual kissing, touching, or fondling.

How Do Courts Handle Sexual Assault Cases?

One of the most difficult things to prove in the cases of sexual assault is whether or not the actions committed were consensual. It is up to the court to look at the testimony offered by each party in the case, as well as their conduct. This is especially important when trying to determine if the accuser did in fact consent to the sexual contact. Silence and passivity are not considered forms of consent, which means that consent may not be implied. The accused may also be asked to show that he or she took reasonable steps to try and secure the accuser’s consent before the sexual act took place. While this does not prove consent, it can bolster a defendant’s claim that consent was given. An accuser’s sexual background is generally not allowed to be brought into the case, except in rare circumstances.

These cases are difficult to be sure, with the court in the unenviable position of having to make a determination as to whether there was an actual crime committed. Sexual assault convictions carry penalties anywhere from 18 months to 10 years in prison. In cases of sexual assault (especially where the defendant has been wrongfully accused), it is extremely important to secure a competent sex crimes attorney who can work to keep your record and reputation clear. A sexual assault attorney will have experience in this area of the law, and can work with you to prepare your defense and get ready for your day in court.

Bruce Engel has more than two decades of experience in criminal law, including cases involving sexual assault charges. He is committed to the highest standards in criminal defense and client satisfaction. Engel & Associates are trusted experts in criminal defense in Ottawa and the surrounding communities. They are located at 116 Lisgar St. Suite 210 Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2, and they may be reached by calling (866) 762-9250.