Charges relating to child pornography and internet luring are amongst the most devastating a person can face.
The stigma of even being investigated for such an offence is often enough to result in earth shattering consequences to a person’s personal and professional life. Charges are broken down into categories of accessing child pornography, possession of child pornography, distribution or publishing of child pornography and making child pornography. These charges are often related to the offence of internet luring where someone is accused of contacting a minor online for the purposes of committing an offence of sexual assault or sexual interference.
Recent amendments to the Criminal Code have introduced mandatory minimum sentences of 90 days or more for offences in these categories. If you are facing charges of this nature it is essential that you hire a lawyer dedicated to confidentially and professionally navigating the complexities of such a case. At Bytensky Shikhman, our criminal lawyers have extensive experience with this very difficult area of the law. We are adept at defending these cases in every available way which can include attacks on the legality of search warrants. Our office has access to leading computer and technology experts who are experienced in analyzing digital data to explain the innocent existence of child pornography on discs, hard drives or in browser cookies.
Where a client admits to being involved in a child pornography or internet luring offence, we have access to the best and most experienced psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors who assist our clients in diagnosing and treating pedophilea. Often, this expertise and our attention to every detail is the difference between a crippling sentence and a genuine opportunity for rehabilitation.
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According to s. 172.1 of the Criminal Code, child luring occurs when a person:
Some of the specified offences include sexual offences such sexual exploitation, sexual interference, making, accessing, or distributing child pornography, and prostitution of a person under 18 years old, as well as the abduction of a person under sixteen or fourteen years of age.
Generally, police cannot provide someone an opportunity to commit a crime if they do not suspect that the person is already engaged in crime. It is entrapment for police to provide a person with an opportunity to commit an offence without a reasonable suspicion that the person is engaged in illegal activity unless the police are doing so as part of a ‘bona fide inquiry’. It is a bona fide inquiry if police:
Police are never permitted to induce an offence.
The answer will depend on the specific tactics used by the police in your case. It is a common technique for police investigating child sexual offences, to post ads for sexual services on websites where they suspect commercial sexual activity is occurring. When individuals respond to the ads, an undercover officer posing as an underage girl or boy will offer to provide sexual services. The Supreme Court of Canada recently found that an investigation that used this technique and ultimately led to the arrest of 104 men, was not entrapment. You will need to consult with an experienced criminal defence lawyer to determine if the police investigation that led to your arrest crossed the line into entrapment.
Because child pornography investigations usually involve search warrants for the accused person’s home and electronic devices, a common defence is to challenge the validity of the search warrant or the way the police conducted the search. If your lawyer can establish that the warrant was not valid or that your Charter rights were infringed during the search, you can apply to have the evidence obtained during the search excluded from your trial.
Your lawyer may also be able to argue that you did not know you had child porn images on your computer, because, for example, you were not the only person with physical access to the computer, your computer was operating on an unsecured or shared network, or your computer was infected with malware. It may also be possible for your lawyer to argue that you believed the individual depicted was over the 18 or that the images had a legitimate purpose related to science, medicine, education or art. It is best to consult with an experienced lawyer to determine which defences may be available to you.
Don’t delay – contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer with decades of experience to have the best chance of winning your case.
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