90 day mandatory minimum sentence for sexual interference stuck down

Mandatory minimum senteces for sexual offences are continuing to fall. The mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail for sexual interference when the Crown proceeds by indictment has previuosly been declared unconstitutional in many cases Now, the mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail has beem struck down.

In R. v. Drumonde the Court held that the a 90 day jail sentence would clearly outrage standards of decency and be grossly disproportionate.

One example provided was a single kiss or attempted kiss by an adult in relation to a 15 year old complainant.  This would technically meet the definition of sexual interference (even if the adult was just 18 years old).  A 90 day sentece would not be appropriate.

Another example is where a 19 year old accused and a 14 year old victim had a mutual sexual relationship and but for a mere 35 days the accused would have had a complete defence to the charge.  The accused had excellent atnecednets, strong ties to his pro-social family and theri values, was a volunteer in the community and planned to attend college.  The victim did not want to see the accused convicted and did not want him to go to jail.

Although a period of incarceration will usually follow a conviction for sexual interference, in certain cases jail may not be required and now that the mandatory minimum has been struck down this is possible unless and until a higher level of court reaches a different decision.


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