Accused took advantage of complainant by using personal feelings to secure her apparent consent

Supreme court | Criminal Law | Defences | Consent

Accused police officer was acquitted of sexual assault. Crown appealed. Court of Appeal found that trial judge erred in refusing to instruct jury on s. 273.1(2)(c) of Criminal Code, which provided that no consent was obtained where accused, by abusing position of trust, power or authority, induces complainant to engage in sexual activity. Court of Appeal set aside accused’s acquittal and ordered new trial. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Instruction under s. 273.1(2)(c) was warranted. It would have been open to jury to conclude that by abusing his position of trust and authority, accused took advantage of complainant, who was highly intoxicated and vulnerable, by using personal feelings and confidence engendered by their relationship to secure her apparent consent. Section 273.1(2)(c) is aimed at protection of vulnerable and weak and preservation of right to freely choose to consent to sexual activity. Inducing consent by abusing relationships set out in s. 273.1(2)(c) did not imply same kind of coercion contemplated by s. 265(3)(d), which speaks to consent obtained where complainant submits or does not resist because of exercise of authority.

R. v. Snelgrove (2019), 2019 CarswellNfld 120, 2019 CarswellNfld 121, 2019 SCC 16, 2019 CSC 16, Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellNfld 378, 2018 NLCA 59, B.G. Welsh J.A., C.W. White J.A., and L.R. Hoegg J.A. (N.L. C.A.).

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from Law Times.

Recent articles & video

Open schedule at Competition Tribunal presents opportunity for commissioner, lawyer says

Students raise alarm on future of university legal clinics

CICB to cease accepting applications on Oct. 1

Stikeman Elliott, Rubin Thomlinson, McCarthy Tétrault win HR awards

Insurance lawyers reveal their referral philosophies

Court of Appeal rules auto insurer not liable for parental negligence claim stemming from accident

Most Read Articles

New equality measure approved by Law Society of Ontario as the statement of principles gets repealed

Judges call out lack of support for legal aid, pro bono amid MAG presence

Chasm in opinions remains after statement of principles repeal

Law students, paralegals can continue working on the same summary conviction matters