Understanding Sexual Assault Charges in Calgary
Assault charges are some of the most common charges brought before the Calgary courts, in large part because the law defining assault is both broad and somewhat vague, allowing a number of actions and gestures to result in assault charges, in many cases, even without any physical contact occurring at all.
While common assault remains, well, common, there are certain special classes of assault that are somewhat less commonly seen in the courts but that are even more serious. Everyone in Calgary should know the definition of the various types of assault and when they can be held criminally liable for their actions, or what situations might lead to allegations that can be difficult to address.
Consequences of Sexual Assault in Calgary
As you might know from previous articles, an assault charge can be brought following any incident of unwanted and intentional physical contact. There doesn't need to be any injury caused or any physical harm done; any touching that occurs on purpose and that is unwanted by the person being touched is effectively assault. Intimidating gestures or threats of violence without any physical contact can also lead to an assault charge or an arrest by Calgary Police.
A sexual assault charge is similar: anything that would qualify as a common assault but that is considered sexual in nature can result in a sexual assault charge. What determines whether a specific instance of unwanted touching or intimidation is sexual in nature is somewhat murky, and often comes down to the interpretation of Calgary police or other law enforcement, Crown prosecutor, and other officials in the criminal justice system.
This determination can include the specific body part(s) that were touched, but the assault does not have to involve typically sexualized body parts (i.e. genitals, buttocks, and breasts) to be considered a sexual assault. Other criteria that may be used to distinguish a sexual assault from a non sexual assault include any words of gestures used before, during, or after the assault; the overall context in which the assault occured, and potentially anything else Calgary police or Crown prosecutors feel is relevant in terms of demonstrating sexual overtones in the incident.
The punishment for any sexual assault could potentially be as onerous as ten years in prison, and if the assault results in wounding, maiming, disfigurement, or any serious injury, the sentence could be even longer. It is entirely possible to be charged with sexual assault without having intended to commit a crime or to violate anyone else's rights to their own body, but even in such cases a sexual assault charge could have a serious effect on your life.
Contact a Calgary Defence Lawyer for Your Sexual Assault Case
If you or a family member have been charged with a sexual assault in the Calgary area, don't leave your fate to law enforcement and the Calgary courts. Contact dedicated Calgary defence lawyer Susan Karpa today for a free consultation.