2009 PECA 4

In 2009 PECA 4, Ms. A was appealing a charge of sexual exploitation against a teen girl she had once coached. When Ms. A was 22-years-old, she was an assistant soccer coach to an Under 14 soccer team that the complainant, Ms. C, and Ms. A’s younger sister were both on. Ms. C and the coach were in contact via email, social media, and socially and had a close relationship over a two-year period. Ms. C’s parents did not approve of the friendship and had the manager of the soccer team remind Ms. A not to have close friendships with the players.

Ms. C’s parents were concerned about the relationship and requested that the Canadian Soccer Association investigate the relationship, which found no evidence of misconduct and classified the email communication as “adolescent chatter”. Ms. A stopped communicating with Ms. C following the investigation but eventually Ms. C resumed contact with Ms. A. Ms. A was no longer the complainant’s coach at this time and Ms. C was 15 years-old.

Ms. C’s parents contacted the police when Ms. C disclosed to them that she and Ms. A had engaged in sexual activity, which Ms. A denied. Ms. A was found guilty of sexual exploitation and sentenced to 5 months incarceration. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision and Ms. A was acquitted. There was a lack of evidence of sexual contact between the two. In addition, given the definition of “young person” (prior to a 2008 amendment), Ms. C was able to legally engage in sexual activity with an adult and the age difference was not sufficient evidence of exploitation.


Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Exploitation