2011 ONCA 834

In 2011 ONCA 834, Mr. H, threatened to mail his ex-girlfriend’s nude photos to her neighbours, coworkers, and others. When he eventually distributed the photos, his victim became very ill, sought short-term disability benefits, and received counselling. Mr. H was charged with extortion and nine counts of criminal harassment.

At the trial level, the Court noted that Mr. H “used the existence of the embarrassing photos and the threat that they would be disclosed to family […] as a tool to bend [the victim’s] will to suit his needs” Although he was guilty of extortion, the Court was not satisfied that H was also guilty of criminal harassment. As the Court held, “The effect on [the victim] is better described as vexing and annoying. I have not been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she was emotionally traumatized or affected to the extent required by section 264.”[1] The court also stated, “While the photos in question were ‘tools of coercion’, the fact remains that they were taken with Ms. A.’s consent.”[2] Mr. H was sentenced to 18-months’ house arrest, followed by 3-years’ probation.

An appeal of the conviction was dismissed.

Also see: [2009] 83 WCB (2d) 760 (ONCJ) (Sentencing); [2009] OJ No 1378 (ONCJ) (Trial)

[1] 2009 CanLii 34031 at para 31.
[2] [2009] OJ No 1378 (ONCJ) at para 5.


Criminal Offence(s): Extortion