R. v. Legare (C.B.), (2009) 469 A.R. 168 (SCC)

JudgeBinnie, LeBel, Fish, Abella, Charron, Rothstein and Cromwell, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateDecember 03, 2009
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2009), 469 A.R. 168 (SCC);2009 SCC 56

R. v. Legare (C.B.) (2009), 469 A.R. 168 (SCC);

      470 W.A.C. 168

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2009] A.R. TBEd. DE.029

Craig Bartholomew Legare (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) and Attorney General of Canada, Attorney General of Ontario and Beyond Borders Inc. (intervenors)

(32829; 2009 SCC 56; 2009 CSC 56)

Indexed As: R. v. Legare (C.B.)

Supreme Court of Canada

Binnie, LeBel, Fish, Abella, Charron, Rothstein and Cromwell, JJ.

December 3, 2009.

Summary:

The 32 year old accused engaged in an explicit sexual discussion with a 12 year old girl in an internet chat room. The accused was charged under s. 152 of the Criminal Code with invitation to sexual touching and under s. 172.1(1)(c) with communicating by computer with a person he believed to be under the age of 14 to facilitate the commission of an offence under ss. 151 or 152 (internet luring).

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a judgment reported (2007), 395 A.R. 171, found the accused not guilty on both charges. The Crown appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported (2008), 429 A.R. 271; 421 W.A.C. 271, allowed the appeal in part. The court set aside the acquittal for the internet luring offence and ordered a new trial. The court dismissed the appeal from the acquittal for inviting sexual touching. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Criminal Law - Topic 709

Sexual offences - Particular offences - Internet luring - Section 172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code made it an offence to communicate with a child under age 14 via a computer for the purpose of facilitating the commission of one of the secondary offences listed - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "s. 172.1(1)(c) creates ... a preparatory crime that captures otherwise legal conduct meant to culminate in the commission of a completed crime. It criminalizes conduct that precedes the commission of the sexual offences to which it refers, and even an attempt to commit them. Nor, indeed, must the offender meet or intend to meet the victim with a view to committing any of the specified secondary offences. ... Section 172.1(1)(c) makes it a crime to communicate by computer with underage children or adolescents for the purpose of facilitating the commission of the offences mentioned in its constituent paragraphs. In this context, 'facilitating' includes helping to bring about and making easier or more probable - for example, by 'luring' or 'grooming' young persons to commit or participate in the prohibited conduct; by reducing their inhibitions; or by prurient discourse that exploits a young person's curiosity, immaturity or precocious sexuality. ... sexually explicit language is not an essential element of the offences created by s. 172.1. Its focus is on the intention of the accused at the time of the communication by computer. Sexually explicit comments may suffice to establish the criminal purpose of the accused. But those who use their computers to lure children for sexual purposes often groom them online by first gaining their trust through conversations about their home life, their personal interests or other innocuous topics. ... the content of the communication is not necessarily determinative ... the intention of the accused must be determined subjectively. ... the accused must be shown to have 'engage[d] in the prohibited communication with the specific intent of facilitating the commission of one of the designated offences' with respect to the underage person who was the intended recipient of communication" - See paragraphs 25 to 32.

Criminal Law - Topic 709

Sexual offences - Particular offences - Internet luring - The 32 year old accused, pretending to be a 17 year old male, engaged in an explicit sexual discussion with a 12 year old Ontario girl in an internet chat room - The girl provided her telephone number and the accused called her twice - The accused stated that he would "love" to engage in oral sex with her - Nothing further occurred - The accused did not intend to meet the girl - There was no discussion of meeting - The trial judge found the accused not guilty under s. 172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code of communicating by computer with a person he believed to be under the age of 14 to facilitate the commission of an offence under s. 151 or 152 (internet luring) - Although the accused's conduct was reprehensible, there was no "grooming or luring the child" - There was no proof that the internet chat was for the purpose of "facilitating" sexual exploitation or sexual touching - The court stated that "the Crown need not prove that the accused actually intended to carry out the enumerated offence, but the Crown does need to prove the accused intended to lure the child for that purpose"- The Alberta Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for the internet luring offence - Internet luring was an offence of communication, not physical contact - Intent to achieve physical contact between the communicator (accused) and recipient (girl) was not an essential element of the offence - The trial judge erred by focussing on the marginal note of "luring" to add a dimension of present intention beyond the facilitation required by s. 172.1(1)(c) - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the decision - The trial judge adopted an unduly restrictive interpretation of s. 172.1(1)(c), misapprehending the essential elements of the offence - Accordingly, the court agreed that a new trial was required.

Words and Phrases

Facilitating - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of "facilitating", as found in s. 172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, in relation to a charge of "internet luring" - See paragraph 28.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Alicandro (A.) (2009), 245 O.A.C. 357; 246 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 2009 ONCA 133, refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Pengelley (N.), [2009] O.T.C. Uned. 971 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 30].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 172.1(1)(c) [para. 24].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Ashworth, Andrew, Principles of Criminal Law (6th Ed. 2009), p. 456 [para. 33].

Howard, Colin, Criminal Law (5th Ed. 1990), p. 11 [para. 40].

Stuart, Donald, Canadian Criminal Law: A Treatise (5th Ed. 2007), p. 86 [para. 41].

Counsel:

Laura K. Stevens, Q.C., and Sarah DeSouza, for the appellant;

James C. Robb, Q.C., for the respondent;

James C. Martin, for the intervenor, Attorney General of Canada;

Deborah Calderwood and Lisa Joyal, for the intervenor, Attorney General of Ontario;

Mark Erik Hecht, Nicole Merrick and Johnathan Rosenthal, for the intervenor, Beyond Borders Inc.

Solicitors of Record:

Dawson Stevens & Shaigec, Edmonton, Alberta, for the appellant;

Attorney General of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, for the respondent;

Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Halifax, N.S., for the intervenor, Attorney General of Canada;

Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervenor, Attorney General of Ontario;

Beyond Borders Inc., Nepean, Ontario, for the intervenor, Beyond Borders Inc.

This appeal was heard on October 15, 2009, before Binnie, LeBel, Fish, Abella, Charron, Rothstein and Cromwell, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On December 3, 2009, Fish, J., delivered the following judgment in both official languages for the Court.

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115 practice notes
  • R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • April 2, 2020
    ...v. Hood, 2018 NSCA 18, 45 C.R. (7th) 269; R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25, [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133, 95 O.R. (3d) 173; R. v. Sanatkar (1981), 64 C.C.C. (2d) 325; R. v. Bergeron, 2013 QCCA ......
  • R. v. Bertrand Marchand, 2023 SCC 26
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 3, 2023
    ...670 ; referred to: R. v. Reynard, 2015 BCCA 455 , 378 B.C.A.C. 293 ; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133 , 95 O.R. (3d) 173 ; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551 ; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25 , [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3 ; R. v. Collins, 2013 ONCA 392 ; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6 , ......
  • R v Bertrand Marchand,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 3, 2023
    ...670 ; referred to: R. v. Reynard, 2015 BCCA 455 , 378 B.C.A.C. 293 ; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133 , 95 O.R. (3d) 173 ; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551 ; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25 , [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3 ; R. v. Collins, 2013 ONCA 392 ; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6 , ......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Law. Eighth edition
    • September 1, 2022
    ...55 R v Lees (2001), 156 CCC (3d) 421, [2001] BCJ No 249 (CA) ........................... 464 R v Legare, [2009] 3 SCR 551, 2009 SCC 56 .............................................. 151, 589 R v Lemire (1964), [1965] SCR 174, [1965] 4 CCC 11, [1964] SCJ No 59...........521 R v Lemky, [1996]......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
103 cases
  • R. v. Friesen, 2020 SCC 9
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • April 2, 2020
    ...v. Hood, 2018 NSCA 18, 45 C.R. (7th) 269; R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25, [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133, 95 O.R. (3d) 173; R. v. Sanatkar (1981), 64 C.C.C. (2d) 325; R. v. Bergeron, 2013 QCCA ......
  • R v Bertrand Marchand,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 3, 2023
    ...670 ; referred to: R. v. Reynard, 2015 BCCA 455 , 378 B.C.A.C. 293 ; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133 , 95 O.R. (3d) 173 ; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551 ; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25 , [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3 ; R. v. Collins, 2013 ONCA 392 ; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6 , ......
  • R. v. Bertrand Marchand,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 3, 2023
    ...670 ; referred to: R. v. Reynard, 2015 BCCA 455 , 378 B.C.A.C. 293 ; R. v. Alicandro, 2009 ONCA 133 , 95 O.R. (3d) 173 ; R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551 ; R. v. Levigne, 2010 SCC 25 , [2010] 2 S.C.R. 3 ; R. v. Collins, 2013 ONCA 392 ; R. v. Nasogaluak, 2010 SCC 6 , ......
  • R v Baker,
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • April 25, 2023
    ...2005 SCC 54 at para 15, [2005] 2 SCR 601; R v Legare, 2008 ABCA 138 at para 56, 236 CCC (3d) 380, affirmed without reference to this point 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 SCR 551; R v Hajivasilis, 2013 ONCA 27 at para 46, 41 MVR (6th) 175; R v Summers, 2014 SCC 26 at para 43, [2014] 1 SCR 575; Stoney......
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14 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Law. Eighth edition
    • September 1, 2022
    ...55 R v Lees (2001), 156 CCC (3d) 421, [2001] BCJ No 249 (CA) ........................... 464 R v Legare, [2009] 3 SCR 551, 2009 SCC 56 .............................................. 151, 589 R v Lemire (1964), [1965] SCR 174, [1965] 4 CCC 11, [1964] SCJ No 59...........521 R v Lemky, [1996]......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive Criminal Law. Seventh Edition
    • August 4, 2018
    ...53 R v Lees (2001), 156 CCC (3d) 421, [2001] BCJ No 249 (CA) ........................... 445 R v Legare, [2009] 3 SCR 551, 2009 SCC 56 ...............................................145, 559 R v Lemire (1964), [1965] SCR 174, [1965] 4 CCC 11, [1964] SCJ No 59 .....................................
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive Criminal Law. Fifth Edition
    • August 28, 2012
    ...48 R. v. Lees (2001), 156 C.C.C. (3d) 421, [2001] B.C.J. No. 249 (C.A.) ................ 405 R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551 ........................................... 126– 27 R. v. Lemire (1964), [1965] S.C.R. 174, [1965] 4 C.C.C. 11, [1964] S.C.J. No. 59 ........................
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive Criminal Law. Sixth Edition
    • August 30, 2015
    ...50 R. v. Lees (2001), 156 C.C.C. (3d) 421, [2001] B.C.J. No. 249 (C.A.) .................411 R. v. Legare, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 551, 2009 SCC 56 ......................................... 132, 512 R. v. Lemire (1964), [1965] S.C.R. 174, [1965] 4 C.C.C. 11, [1964] S.C.J. No. 59 .........................
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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