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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

What to expect if charged with voyeurism

In a recent post we wrote about the “he said, she said” nature of some sexual assault cases. These are not the only types of sex crimes that can be difficult to navigate. So too are voyeurism cases.

Readers may not be aware that there are laws in the province of Ontario that pertain to voyeurism. In place since 2005, these laws can be difficult for the crown to prove.

Consent a question in some sexual assault cases

While every criminal charge has the potential to be complicated, some are more difficult to defend against than others. An example of this is where sex crime charges are concerned. In some cases there may be a question as to whether the accused actually committed an act that constitutes sexual assault.

This situation may arise if the accused admits to engaging in a sexual activity with the other person and the question is not whether the incident occurred. Instead, it’s whether the activity was engaged in with the consent of each party. This distinction is important since if consent was present, it is not sexual assault.

Toronto to decide fate of police use of body-worn cameras

Technology is a part of virtually all of our lives. In addition to smart phones, it can take multiple other forms as well. Even law enforcement officers look to technology to better do their jobs. Recently, police officers in Toronto completed a pilot project involving body-worn cameras.

As a part of that study three different types of cameras were tested by a total of 100 officers. Among other things, there is an assumption that the use of this wearable technology will result in fewer civilian complaints against officers and less police brutality. If true, these expensive devices could be worth it. 

Issues with breathalyzer could result in case being tossed

In most drunk driving cases breathalyzers play a role. It is not uncommon for the breath test to be administered following a traffic stop as part of a sobriety test. When the machine works correctly, it is supposed to provide an accurate reading of the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system. If the amount registered is over the legal limit, it will be used as evidence by the crown as it builds its case. If the machine does not work as intended, the odds of a conviction being secured, will likely drop.

Alleged car theft results in drug charges

There are a variety of situations that could lead to someone being arrested for committing an alleged crime. Recently we wrote about drug charges that were laid after a sweep was conducted in Toronto. While that is one way in which charges could arise, it is not the only one. Other times tips from other citizens could prompt police to take action. The recent arrest of three individuals in Toronto provides a good example of this. 

Charges for sexual assault may come decades after alleged act

In Ontario, authorities take allegations of sexual assault very seriously. Accordingly, it is possible that people could face criminal charges associated with the act many years after it allegedly occurred. The charges a Toronto man currently face, illustrate this. The man, who is now 48, was recently arrested in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred in 1994.

Specifically the man is accused of sexually assaulting a boy who spent the night at his house between the years of 1994 and 1996. The arrest follows an investigation that started in April of this year. In total he faces four charges including sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Sexual assault charge against former CBC host withdrawn

This past March we wrote about the acquittal of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi from several sexual assault charges. At that time, though the man was found not guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking, his legal issues were not resolved. He faced another count of sexual assault, the trial for which was supposed to take place this summer. That charge was recently resolved as well. It was withdrawn by the court.

Many arrested in sweep of marijuana dispensaries

Readers are likely aware that medical marijuana is legal in Ontario, available from dispensaries found throughout the province. While the use of the drug in some situations may be legal, it is strictly regulated. Recently Toronto law enforcement cracked down on some retailers in Toronto. Called Project Claudia, the sweep resulted in approximately 90 arrests. In the course of the arrests the following was seized:

  • More than 269 kilograms of dried cannabis
  • Around 30 kilograms of cannabis resin
  • 24 kilograms of cannabis hash
  • More than 27 kilograms of marijuana/THC pills
  • 24 grams of cocaine
  • Approximately $160,000 in cash

In addition, edibles, sodas and liquids were also found in the 45 dispensaries.

Criminal laws apply to all in Ontario, even law enforcement

The laws in place in the province of Ontario apply to all. This means that no one—even a law enforcement officer—is immune from criminal charges. This is illustrated in the recent charges laid against a Toronto police officer.

The man, a police sergeant who has been with Toronto’s police force for more than 20 years, is facing two charges of sexual assault stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred last fall, approximately a month apart. In both cases the man is accused of using his police cruiser to drive women home and then sexual assaulting them.

Test currently lacking for driving impaired due to marijuana

As readers are likely well aware, the laws in place in Ontario regarding drunk driving are well established. The same cannot be said however for impaired driving due to marijuana. Currently law enforcement does not have a good way to determine whether someone who is believed to be high from pot, is in fact too impaired to drive. With the possibility of marijuana becoming legal becoming more and more of a reality, some are concerned such a change could result in more drivers taking to the road after first using the drug.