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Q: Canadian Statutory Rape ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Canadian Statutory Rape
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: jestepher-ga
List Price: $49.50
Posted: 15 Aug 2004 00:24 PDT
Expires: 14 Sep 2004 00:24 PDT
Question ID: 388042
What are the Statutory Rape Laws in CANADA? Specifically British
Columbia? I know they are different from the U.S. What is the legal
age of consent and are there any other laws involving relative age and
position of influence issues? For example (hint hint) a 23 year old
guy and a 14 year old girl. It Hasn't happened yet because the 23 year
old guy I know wants the facts before I..oops I mean "he" potentially fries
himself. Thanks.
Subject: Re: Canadian Statutory Rape
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 15 Aug 2004 01:44 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi jestepher,

Thank you for your question.

Rape (law) Introduction; Legal History of Rape; Types of Rape;
Incidence; Effects on Victims

D  In Canada 

Like the United States, Canada modeled its criminal law on English
common law. Consequently, Canadian rape laws primarily attempted to
protect men accused of rape. Prior to legal reforms in the 1980s,
husbands were immune from prosecution for raping their wives. Canada
also supplemented the English common law safeguards for men accused of
rape. A fresh complaint rule was imposed, prosecutors were permitted
to introduce evidence of the victim?s past sexual history to attack
her credibility, and judges instructed juries about the dangers of
convicting a suspect on the uncorroborated evidence of the

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Canadian Parliament reformed
these traditional rape laws and doctrines, adopting a new statutory
scheme governing sexual assault. Under the current criminal code, both
men and women may be found guilty of criminal sexual assault, and
marital immunity has been repealed. Furthermore, lawmakers have
eliminated many of the evidentiary rules intended to make rape
prosecutions more difficult, including the fresh complaint rule and
the requirement for corroboration

III  Types of Rape
Statutory Rape 

Sexual intercourse with a person who has not reached the age of
consent is known as statutory rape. The age of consent for sexual
intercourse varies depending on state law, but is no higher than 18 in
any state. Under most state laws, the younger the victim is, the
greater the punishment. Statutory rape laws traditionally treated men
or boys as the prospective offenders and young women or girls as
prospective victims. However, some jurisdictions have enacted
gender-neutral statutory rape laws. States also typically treat sexual
intercourse as rape if the victim is considered incapable of giving
consent for a reason other than age. For example, if a person has
sexual intercourse with someone who is drugged or asleep, or who is
mentally retarded, that person may be found guilty of rape.

In Canada, traditional statutory rape laws have been replaced with
specific laws against a variety of sexual offenses concerning
children. For example, the Criminal Code provides that any person who,
for sexual purposes, touches any part of the body of a person under
the age of 14 is guilty of the offense of sexual interference. The
charge cannot be defended by claiming consent by the minor or mistake
concerning the age of the victim. However, if the accused person is
between the ages of 12 and 16 and the victim is less than two years
younger than the accused and consented to the activity, it is not
considered a crime.


Government of Canada - Age of Consent 

II. Rape 

With regard to the sexual interference with a minor, Section 151 states 
" Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or
indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the
body of a person under the age of fourteen (14) years, is guilty of an
indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary


"Subject: Age of Conssent in Canada 
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 21:00:17 PDT 

An addition to the information conccode. The age of consent there is
16.erning the age of conscent. The law which applies to the age of 14
is in existance everywhere except Quebec. The province of Quebec,
unlike the rest of the country, has it's own criminal

Editor: Letter received 1/23/00
In British Columbia Canada the age of consent varies in between 14-19
It varies in each case. Like if a 19 year old raped a 15 year old 18
would be used as a common no. it is really strange because the age of
consent seems to change all of the time. But 14 is correct but there
is alzo the 15-19 part..."


Age of Consent for Sexual Activity 

Are you confused about how old someone has to be before they can
consent to sexual activity in Canada? Although the criminal law has
been reformed to remove any differences between the ages of consent
for males and females and between homosexual and heterosexual sex, the
age of consent varies depending on what you are doing and who you are
doing it with.

If you are 18 years of age you can consent to all lawful sexual activity.

You can consent to sexual activity if you are 14 to 17 years of age as long as: 

no relationship of trust, authority, or dependency exists; 
there is no payment or offer of payment for sex; 
there is no anal sex (unless you are in a legal, heterosexual marriage
with the other person).
Do not even think about having sex if you or your partner are under
14! The law prohibits touching or inviting, counselling or inciting a
person under 14 to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the
body or with an object, any part of the body for a sexual purpose. As
well, someone can be convicted of sexual assault of a person between
14 and under 18 if they are in a position of trust or authority or
dependency toward the person between 14 and 18 (even if the accused is
also under 18).

Whether a relationship of trust, authority or dependency exists
depends on each situation and has been interpreted by the courts very
broadly. For example, it was found to exist in one case where a man
lived in the same apartment as a 14 year old girl and her family and
he was treated by them as a member of the family. In another case a 14
year old boy of limited mental capacity "taught" a 16 year old boy of
far more severely limited mental capacity everything he knew about
sex. The law presumes there is exploitation of a young person if an
accused is in a position of trust or authority, even if the sexual
activity is truly consensual.

The Criminal Codes states it is not a defence that an accused believed
that a complainant was 18 years of age or more at the time the offence
was alleged to have been committed unless the accused took all
reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant. What
"reasonable steps" are is not defined. Does this mean you should be
requesting two pieces of picture ID and a sworn declaration? Certainly
just to say that someone looked like they were 18 will not likely cut
it with a judge.


Young People and Sex

What Can You Do? Look At? Read? Write About? 
There is a lot of confusion about sex and young people.

Many Canadians believe the age of consent is 18 for straights and 21
for lesbians and gays. But it isn't!

Since 1988, it is legal for everybody 14 and over to have most kinds
of consensual sex. But there are some important exceptions.

Since 1993, it is illegal to possess, produce, distribute, or import
what the Canadian Criminal Code calls "child pornography." But "child"
and "pornography" don't mean what you think!

You may be surprised to learn that you have illegal material in your
possession -- among your diaries and photo albums, your books and
videos, or your computer files.

This leaflet describes Canadian laws covering sexual acts, sexual
words, and sexual pictures. It is not intended to replace legal
advice. If you have problems or concerns, you should consult an
experienced lawyer.

The Ages of Consent 

Canadian Criminal Code, sections 150-159

At any age, sex without consent is assault. It is a crime. Consent is
not valid if it is obtained through force, threats, fear, or lies
about what is going to happen.

Age-of-consent laws go one step further and make sexual acts legal or
illegal based solely on the age of the people involved, whether they
consent or not. We know that not everyone who is 13, or 17, or 25 has
the same level of maturity as everyone else the same age, but the law
tries to protect young people by assuming that, under a certain age,
they are too young to know what they're doing and cannot give
meaningful consent.

The maximum penalties for breaking these laws range from 5 to 14 years
in jail. Some violations, especially if repeated - whether or not the
acts were invited and nonviolent - can result in a person's being
classified as a dangerous offender and imprisoned for life.

The Criminal Code does not apply to the actions of those under the age
of 12. But even though they have broken no criminal laws, sexually
active young people may still be taken into custody under provincial
child-welfare legislation.

In Canada, for both males and females, the basic age of consent is 14.
Anyone who is 14 or over can consent to having most kinds of sex with
anyone else who is 14 or over. But here are some exceptions that
prohibit (or allow) sexual activity below and above 14.

*  At any age incest and bestiality are illegal. Bestiality is sex
with animals. Incest is defined as sexual intercourse with a parent,
child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, grandparent, or
*  For the other laws described here, someone who mistakenly believes
a sexual partner is over the legal age of consent must be able to show
they took "all reasonable steps" to know the age of the young person.
*  It is illegal, for a sexual purpose, to expose your genitals to a
person under 14, to touch a young person "directly or indirectly," or
to "invite, counsel, or incite" them to touch themselves or anyone
*  Except ... people who are 14 or 15 can have sex with people under
14 who are no more than two years younger than them (14-12, 15-13) as
long as neither is in a position of trust or authority over the other.
*  And 12- or 13-year-olds can have sex with anyone of any age without
being charged themselves, unless they are in a position of trust or
authority over their partner.
*  It is illegal to have sex with a person under 18 if you are in a
position of trust of authority, or responsible in a relationship of
dependence, with them. This applies to teachers, lifeguards, coaches,
guardians, social workers, childcare workers, babysitters, etc.,
whether or not they are under 18 themselves. It doesn't matter whether
they are male or female.
*  Regardless of age, prostitution is restricted by other parts of the
law - see Criminal Code sections 210-13 (soliciting, procuring, bawdy
*  Selling sex is not itself illegal at any age. But it is illegal to
pay (or offer to pay) someone who is under 18 for sex. That is: the
person who breaks the law is the person who gives the money, not the
person who takes it. This also applies to offers of food, housing,
drugs, gifts, etc.
 *  In 1997, the law was amended to make it illegal to pay someone
believed to be under 18 for sex. This allows undercover police
officers posing as young prostitutes in sting operations to lay more
serious charges than before. If a police officer was represented as
being under 18, the accused must prove they knew this wasn't true
before the offence occurred.
*  The Criminal Code section on anal inter course was declared
unconstitutional in 1994 by the Ontario and federal courts of appeal
and in 1998 by the Quebec Court of Appeal, but Parliament has not yet
amended the Code. People are still occasionally charged under this
section, which says that anal sex is legal only in a private place
when no more than two people are present and they are either married
to each other or are both at least 18 years old. This discriminates
against gays and lesbians (whose marriages are not recognized by the
government) and anyone 14-18 years old.
Most criminal laws apply only to acts committed in Canada. But in 1997
the law was amended to apply to sexual acts committed anywhere in the
world as long as they are sexual offences against persons under 18 as
defined in the Canadian Criminal Code. What might not be a crime
elsewhere can now be prosecuted in Canada if a Canadian citizen is


Youth Centre - Canada's Laws on Sex


keyword search:

Canadian Criminal Code sections 150-159 The Ages of Consent
Canada rape laws
Canada statutory rape laws
Canada's Age of Consent 

Best regards,
jestepher-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Quite amazing.

Subject: Re: Canadian Statutory Rape
From: tlspiegel-ga on 15 Aug 2004 10:51 PDT
Hi jestepher,

Thank you very much for the 5 star rating and tip!  

Best regards,

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