2011 ONCA 610

In 2018 ONCA 610, Mr. W, a 30-year-old man, was convicted of child luring, sexual interference, sexual touching, attempting to obtain sexual services of a person under the age of 18 for consideration, and sexual assault. He was sentenced to 6.5 years’ incarceration.

The complainant was 12 years old and used her cellphone to access the internet. She met Mr. W on a chatroom called Airdate after he sent her a private message offering to pay her $57 million to have sex with him. She did not reply to the message. Mr. W sent a second message using a fake name and age, posing as a man between 18-20 years old. He suggested that the girl send him a text if she ever changed her mind. The two sent hundreds of text messages back and forth over several days, including discussions of sexual acts he would like them to en-gage in, some of which she did not understand. She had initially stated she was 14 years old and later told Mr. W she was 12 years old, which he said did not matter. He said he was interested in taking her virginity. He offered her $200 million dollars to have sex with him. He set up a conversation with someone purportedly from the Bank of Montreal to prove he had $300 million dollars in his account. The girl’s family was having financial problems at the time and she agreed to meet Mr. W with the promise she would be paid the money. When they did meet he made a phone call pretending to transfer the money into an account in her name.

She was convinced that she received the money and agreed to engage in sexual acts, including intercourse. She later went to the bank and discovered there was no account in her name. She did not tell anyone about the incident for six months. Following a sexual education discussion where her teacher told her class that child sexual abuse is never the fault of the child, she told her mother what had happened. Mr. W was arrested when her mother reported the abuse to the police.

Mr. W appealed his sentence and the conviction of internet luring.

On appeal, Mr. W argued that a cell phone was not a “computer system” and texting via a phone was not communicating via a computer system. The child luring offence requires that a person communicate via a computer system in order to be charged with the offence. The court held that sending text messages involves computer systems used by the cell phone company.

Mr. W also sought to reduce his sentence, but the court did not find it to be an excessive sentence. Mr. W argued that counting grooming as an aggravating factor was double counting. The trial judge had noted the frequency of communication, the distance Mr. W had to travel to meet the complainant, and his access to her away from her parents by using the internet to communicate with her to gain her trust when discussing aggravating factors. However, the appeal judge did not find that she had increased Mr. W’s sentence for his efforts to groom the complainant. Mr. W also argued that the trial judge had erred for taking into account his previous fraudulent criminal history, but the Court of Appeal found that this was appropriate as Mr. W had misled the complainant in order to engage in sexual conduct with her.

Finally, his sentence was not considered manifestly excessive.

The court stated:

[…] if it is shown through the introduction of properly tendered evidence that the of-fence of luring has become a pervasive social problem, I believe that much stiffer sentences, in the range of three to five years, might well be warranted to deter, denounce and separate from society adult predators who would commit this insidious crime. [1]


when trial judges are sentencing adult sexual predators who have exploited innocent children, the focus of the sentencing hearing should be on the harm caused to the child by the offender’s conduct and the life-altering consequences that can and often do flow from it. While the effects of a conviction on the offender and the of-fender’s prospects for rehabilitation will always warrant consideration, the objectives of denunciation, deterrence, and the need to separate sexual predators from society for society’s well-being and the well-being of our children must take precedence. [2]

His appeal was dismissed.

Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Assault

[1] 2018 ONCA 610 at para 58.

[2] 2018 ONCA 610 at para 76.