SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2009 BCSC 1514, Mr. P, a criminal defense lawyer, was found guilty of sexually exploiting Mr. J, a 14-year-old, Indigenous client. Mr. P found him late at night in a public place after Mr. J had been kicked out of his home for breaking curfew, a condition of his release. Mr. P offered him a place to stay, which was needed given that he was again breaking curfew. Mr. P offered him alcohol and required they sleep in the same bed. Mr. P put on a pornographic video in the bedroom and invited Mr. J to masturbate, sexually touched him, and told him to perform oral sex on him, to which Mr. J complied. Although they never spoke of the incident again, Mr. P then represented Mr. J on occasion for the next 18 months, after which Mr. J reported him.
Mr. P had a criminal history, including an acquittal of procuring sex from 2 boys aged 14-15 where he admitted to having sex with them but not offering consideration. He also joined the British Columbia bar under a false name and falsified his criminal history.
The court found that being Mr. J’s legal counsel put him in a position of great authority and trust, more than even a teacher or a doctor. He had the knowledge to know how vulnerable Mr. J was and was entrusted with his liberty.
He was sentenced to 18 months incarceration but not ordered to be a registered sex offender. Appeal of sentence was only partially allowed and did not substantially alter the sentence.
Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Exploitation