Criminal Law on Child Sexual Abuse

AuthorLoree Armstrong Beniuk, Jo-Anne Hughes, and Jack Reynolds
Criminal Law on Child Sexual Abuse
In R. v. Weir (), the court considered whether possession of data in a com-
puter that contained images of child pornography was sucient to sustain a con-
viction for possession of child pornography. Although in this case there was ample
evidence to support the conclusion that the accused had actually viewed the les
containing the images, in R. v. Daniels () it was held that to be in possession
does not require proof that the accused has actually viewed the images or that they
appeared on his computer screen. It is sucient that the accused have knowledge of
the nature of the materials, intend or consent to have possession of them, and have
the necessary control over the material to be able to view the images. Although in
this case he had not viewed the images, the accused had paid a subscription fee
entitling him to access a computer “bulletin board”from which he downloaded les
which included pornographic material.
— Anna Maleszyk, Crimes Against Children
Child sexual abuse of‌fences are outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada.1
Dif‌ferent types and categories of of‌fence are listed, along with details
of the associated legal punishment for commiing them.
The justice system’s approach to an alleged of‌fence, and the results
should the alleged abuser be found guilty, depends largely on whether
the of‌fence is categorized as a summary conviction of‌fence or indictable
The Criminal Code categorizes sexual of‌fences as follows:
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