SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2017 NBCA 62, Mr. T, a 24-year-old man, was convicted of sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and luring a child relating to a 14-year-old boy.
The boy had placed an ad online on a website for adults describing himself as an 18-year-old male. The two began communicating, sending emails and texts, and eventually met up on five occasions for sexual activity. Because of the complainant’s age, he could not legally consent to the sexual activity. One of Mr. T’s relatives was secretly monitoring his internet use and re-ported the relationship to the police.
The first trial ended in a hung jury. The second trial hinged on the credibility of the complain-ant, who claimed he told Mr. T his actual age when they met in person, and whether Mr. T could rely on mistaken belief in age. Mr. T was convicted on all counts at that trial. He appealed all convictions to the Court of Appeal, arguing the jury was not properly instructed on the defence of mistaken belief of age and there was an error allowing for multiple convictions on the same set of circumstance.
The Appeal Court found that the jury had been properly instructed and dismissed the appeals for sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, and child luring.
The conviction for sexual interference was conditionally stayed because the sexual interference charge and sexual assault charge arose out of the same circumstances and to charge him with both offences would be convicting him twice for the same offence.
Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Assault