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Sexual Offences Against Children Laws in Canada

Part VIII of the Criminal Code / Against the Person and Reputation

Crimes and Penalties for Sexual Offences Against Children

If you have been charged with a crime in Canada, you should consult with a criminal defence lawyer in your area

Sexual Offences Against Children - Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Legal Terms


The voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.

Hybrid offence

Hybrid offences fall between a summary and an indictable offence. The Crown prosecutor chooses whether to treat the offence as a summary or indictable offence.

Indictable offence

Indictable offences are the most serious offences under the Criminal Code and they come with more serious punishments, up to a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Reasonable doubt

The Supreme Court of Canada has said that reasonable doubt “falls much closer to absolute certainty than to proof on a balance of probabilities” and “that something less than absolute certainty is required, and that something more than probable guilt is required."

Summary conviction

Summary convictions are used for lesser offences with penalties, fines and short jail time. They reflect the majority of offences as defined in the Code.


The recruitment, transportation, harbouring and influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit them, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. It is often described as a modern form of slavery.

Young person

Those 12 years old or older, but less than 18.

Sexual Offences Against Children - Referenced Links