SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2018 BCSC 1683, Mr. L, a 50-year-old movie producer, invited guilty pleas for sexual assault, voyeurism, and administering a stupefying substance.
He was sentenced to 11 years in jail. Additional orders included a lifetime firearms ban, a DNA test, a lifetime registration as a sex offender, and a no contact order.
On two occasions, someone anonymously contacted the police via Crimestoppers to advise the police that Mr. L and his colleague were selling drugs and sexually assaulting underage women, filming the assaults and then storing copies of the images on a cellphone or on SD cards. The police searched the residence and seized multiple cellphones, digital cameras, computers, SD cards, rolls of film and a digital camera. Four female victims were identified and contacted by the police, others were contacted but did not want to cooperate with the investigation.
One victim, Ms. SKJ, a woman in her mid-twenties, was conscious in some of the images and unconscious in some of the images and the accused was sexually touching her with his hands and penis. Mr. L used GHB to drug Ms. SKJ for the purposes of sexually assaulting her and taking images of her. She was unaware that she had been photographed or sexually assaulted un-til the police contacted her. Mr. L had told her that he was looking after her when she was intoxicated.
A second victim, Ms. CHM, was a friend of Mr. L. She was unconscious while Mr. L touched her sexually, sexually penetrated her with his penis, and photographed her. She suspected she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. L, who denied it, and learned about the assault and photos when the police contacted her.
A third victim, Ms. CARM, a 23-year-old woman, appears in a video where she was engaged in consensual sexual activity with Mr. L but was not aware that she was being filmed. On some occasions Mr. L hid a camera in order to film her. Additionally, there is footage where Ms. CARM caught Mr. L filming her and she says no to being photographed in the nude. She asked Mr. L to delete the photos but he had copies. There were other photos of Ms. CARM unconscious and partially undressed. The court described the images as “degrading. They objectify the victims and grossly violate their privacy and their sexual autonomy.” (para 116) On one occasion Mr. L put GHB in Ms. CARM’s drink for the purpose of sexually assaulting her. Ms. CARM recognized that she was feeling unusual and called her roommates for help and left. She went to the hospital where her urine tested positive for GHB.
A fourth victim, Ms. KESP, was allegedly given a stupefying substance and sexually assaulted causing bodily harm. There was accompanying video and photographic evidence of this. Mr. L was not found guilty of the offences related to KESP.
The victim impact statements described significant effects on their romantic relationships, personal lives, finances, education, mental health, and ability to trust.
The accused brought several challenges related to his bail, challenges to the validity of the warrant, and Charter challenges to the search and seizure of the accused, his electronic devices, and his apartment.
Also see: 2018 BCSC 12 (Charter challenge); 2017 BCSC 2000 (Application for exclusion of evi-dence); 2017 BCSC 1640 (Charter Challenge); 2017 BCSC 1862 (Search and seizure); 2017 BCSC 1535 (Voir dire); 2017 BCSC 1534 (Search and seizure); 2017 BCSC 1516 (Application for direc-tion); 2017 BCSC 1241 (Search and seizure); 2017 BCSC 1095 (Privilege); 2013 BCPC 393 (Bail).
Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Assault