2013 ABCA 79

In 2013 ABCA 79, Mr. D, a 26-year-old dance teacher, was charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

He was teaching the complainant, a 15-year-old girl, and began texting her sexually suggestive texts which she said “creeped her out”. The two continued texting and became close. At one-point Mr. D drove the girl home and asked to come in the house where they engaged in a single act of sexual intercourse.

The trial judge withdrew the charge of sexual assault because there was reasonable doubt about whether the sexual intercourse was consensual or not, but convicted Mr. D of sexual exploitation.  Mr. D appealed the conviction claiming the indictment was not clear that he was being charged with sexual exploitation and that the trial judge rendered an unreasonable verdict, however, the court did not agree. It found that Mr. D could not have been under any misapprehension that he would be charged with exploitation. The court also found that there was an imbalance of power in the relationship that would lead to exploitation, noting the 11-year age difference, the fact that Mr. D had been the complainant’s dance instructor, his sexually suggestive text messages, visits with her outside of class, and him asking to come inside her house when her parents weren’t home on the pretence that he was curious about what it looked like inside.

The appeal was dismissed.

Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Assault