Assault

  • Assault: intent is the key – if the act was brought about due to carelessness or reflex, then there is no assault
  • A threat can be considered assault if the action is able to be carried out at the same time

Types of assault

  • The issue of consent
  • Giving consent: agreeing to the sexual advance
  • In sex assault trials, the issue relating to consent deals with whether the person agreed to the touching. A difficult thing to prove (assaults are usually committed in private)
    • If a person gives consent for another person, THERE IS NO CONSENT
    • If the victim is incapable of consenting to the activity, THERE IS NO CONSENT
    • If the victim is coerced into complying by a person in power, THERE IS NO CONSENT
    • If the victim’s body language dictates no, then THERE IS NO CONSENT
    • If the victim agrees at first, then decides to discontinue the activity, THERE IS NO CONSENT
    • 14 years old: consent is not an issue (so long as the accused is under 3 years older…17 years old)
    • Intoxication: self induced intoxication. The loss of self control was bound to occur (the aggressor knew better)….can’t be used as defence

Other sexual offences

  • It is illegal to….
    • Commit bestiality
    • To procure a person under 18 yrs for purpose of prostitution
    • Manage a premises for the purpose of prostitution
    • Commit indecent acts in public
    • Commit incest (sex with a blood relative)

Assault

  • Abduction: the forced removal of a person under the age of 16 yrs.
  • Taken away from a parent, guardian, Children’s Aid
  • This crime has risen due to the number of separations and divorces
    • It is also illegal to take, conceal, entice or harbour (hold on to) a person under 14 yrs if you are not the parent
    • Enticing: often occurs in custody disputes
    • Occurs when the custodial parent refuses to give the other parent their child, according to terms set up in the custody settlement
    • You may take the child if it is thought to be in danger, or if the two parents made a decision
    • You may not change the terms independently if the child prefers to live with the other parent

Amber Alerts

  • A – America’s
  • M – Missing
  • B – Broadcast
  • E – Emergency
  • R – Response
  • An urgent bulletin system set up which uses electronic highway signs and designated radio and TV broadcasters to provide information about the missing child, as well as the possible abductor
    • Criteria for the Alert:
    • Child must be under the age of 18
    • There must be police confirmation that the child is abducted
    • Police must have enough information about the case (description of the child, vehicle used, description of the abductor, possible accomplices)
    • It must be believed that the child is in serious and imminent danger

Success of the system

  • Between 2002-2008, there have been 34 Amber Alerts in Canada
  • 18 involved a family member, 9 were stranger abductions and 7 were by a family member
  • 40 children involved – 21 girls, 19 boys
  • 3 were found dead
    • Criticisms of the system
    • A possibility that the alerts can cause public hysteria and dangerous car chases. Too many alerts could water down the impact of the seriousness of the issue– James Alan Fox, kidnapping and murder expert
  • Complaints by the public over many alerts
  • Making sure the criteria is met every time
  • Determining whether it is appropriate to set off the alert
  • Criticism: the case of Tori Stafford
  • Criticism: Tori Stafford
  • 8yrs old, from Woodstock, Ontario
  • She was last seen April 8, 2009 on a surveillance camera, walking with an unidentified woman
  • Police never issued an Amber Alert, stating they believed she was not abducted, as the camera shows her to willingly walk with the woman
  • Her partial remains were found July 21, 2009.
  • Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClinic, 18, were both charged with 1st degree murder and unlawful confinement.

Tori’s Law

  • A petition to better the Amber Alert.  Had an alert been sent out regarding Tori’s disappearance, perhaps she would have been found earlier

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