Five important facts that you need to know regarding sexual assault charges in Kitchener. What is sexual assault? Sexual assault can be loosely defined as an act committed with sexual intent that violates the sexual well-being of the victim, in which consent is not established. How does one determine if a potential sexual misconduct can be categorized as a sexual assault? The court will implement a six-element method to categorize the sexual assault charge. For instance, which body part was being touched, what did the accused use to touch the victim, how would the nature of the contact be defined, what was the situational context, which words or actions were committed during the assault, what were the motives of the accused?
If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual assault, there are four frequently used defenses that can be at your or your known party’s disposal (as well as your criminal defense lawyer). Firstly, identity plays a crucial role in determining if the accused is guilty or not guilty. Essentially, the identity factor follows the idea that the victim must be able to accurately identify the alleged offender or DNA evidence (such as fluid, skin, fingerprints, hair etc.) must establish that the DNA left over from the sexual act is in fact the alleged offenders.
This means that if the victim cannot reasonable identify the alleged offender or DNA evidence does not confirm the act then this defense is viable. Secondly, the defense of ‘no sexual contact or threat of sexual contact occurred’. Under this defense, it may be that the victim is mistaken or is not being truthful about the alleged sexual conduct. If this is the case, then the criminal lawyer(s) will attempt to first, find a motive for why the victim may be lying and second, find a way to reduce the creditability of the victim while on the stand. Thirdly, was there consent? If it can be established that there was voluntary consent between both parties, then this can act as a valid defense of a not guilty verdict for a sexual assault charge.
However, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that consent existed between both parties becomes a very difficult task to accomplish in some cases. A competent criminal defense attorney will vigorously research and investigate on potential motives for a victim to lie about a non-consensual sexual encounter (if consent was in fact present). Additional complexities arise with alcohol being involved, certain age ranges, and mental development delays in one or both parties. For instance, even if consent was stated by both parties, the consent is disregarded if one or both parties were intoxicated, mentally delayed or under the legal age to engage in sexual conduct.
Fourthly, a final defense can follow that the accused mistakenly thought consent was established, when in fact consent was not established by the victim. However, under this defense the criminal lawyer must tread lightly because a sexual assault charge holds much interconnected elements that can destroy this defense. For example, if the defendant was intoxicated, blind or reckless then this defense is not likely encouraged. By understanding both what sexual assault is and the list of potential defenses, one can ensure they have a fair trial for a sexual assault charge.