SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2016 ONSC 6283, Mr. H, a 57-year-old man, was charged with luring and making sexually explicit material available to a person under the age of 16. Mr. H had posted two ads on Craigslist looking for a young girl who was interested in engaging in sexual activity with an old-er man. A police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl responded to the ad and began communicating with Mr. H online, who responded with sexually explicit messages and explicitly pro-posed sexual activity. The officer also sent a separate response claiming to be a second person, the stepfather of a 14-year-old girl, who could offer his step-daughter for sexual activity for a fee. Mr. H responded he didn’t want to pay and inquired if the girl would be interested in doing it “just for fun”.
The officer had long history of working with youth and used language that a 14-year-old would use when messaging Mr. H, he referenced gymnastics, her mother, and school. While speaking with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl, Mr. H asked if she wanted to meet sometime, either at his house of the library. The girl said she would meet him at the library and that she was hungry. She asked Mr. H to bring a sandwich. An undercover officer posed as the girl and Mr. H was arrested when he came to the library, he had a sandwich in his bag.
Mr. H claimed he knew the whole time he was communicating with a middle-aged man, providing several examples of why this could be true, and he had not been looking for a girl when he posted the ad, but a woman in her 20s or 30s. However, the court did not accept any of these claims. He also tried to argue that “written material” did not include messages sent over a computer, which the court did not accept.
He was found guilty of both offences, but the charge for making sexually explicit material available was conditionally stayed. Mr. H was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment, and 3 years of probation, including orders limiting his internet use, a ten-year weapons prohibition, a DNA order, a 20-year prohibition of attending public places where people under 16 are expected to be, and 20 year registration as a sex offender.
Also see: 2017 ONSC 940 (Sentencing).
Criminal Offence(s): Making Sexual Material Available to a Child