Opportunity to commit offence was given in context of reasonable suspicion

Ontario criminal | Defences

ENTRAPMENT

Opportunity to commit offence was given in context of reasonable suspicion

Accused was found guilty of internet luring. Accused applied for stay of proceedings on basis of entrapment by police. Male police officer pretending to be female communicated electronically over several months with accused in response to two advertisements which he had placed in “casual encounters” section of Craigslist. Accused had sought females over age of 18 with whom he proposed to smoke marijuana and have sex. “Female” stated very early on in electronic exchanges that “she” was 14 years old, but accused asserted that he believed she was 16 or older. Accused argued that what was communicated to him by officer in his guise as “female” amounted to providing of opportunity to commit offence in circumstances where there was neither reasonable suspicion that he was already engaged in criminal activity nor making of bona fide inquiry. Accused argued that there was inducement. Application dismissed. Court was not persuaded that “words” of “female” took what was communicated by officer over line from mere neutral investigation into territory of providing opportunity commit offence. After “female” indicated that she was 14, accused made explicit reference to oral sex and, at that point, reasonable suspicion that accused was already engaged in criminal activity had come into existence. Communications between accused and “female” went on for months. Providing of opportunity to commit offence took place in context of reasonable suspicion, and entrapment was not made out. Internet was considered to be universal and investigation was not done in anything other than bona fide context. Police did not induce crime, as average person would likely have ended communication moment that “female” stated her age to be 14.
R. v. Argent (Jul. 17, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., Parayeski J., File No. CR-4301) 115 W.C.B. (2d) 33.

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