R. v. Legare (C.B.), (2008) 429 A.R. 271 (CA)

JudgeMcFadyen, Martin and Watson, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Alberta)
Case DateApril 10, 2008
Citations(2008), 429 A.R. 271 (CA);2008 ABCA 138

R. v. Legare (C.B.) (2008), 429 A.R. 271 (CA);

      421 W.A.C. 271

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2008] A.R. TBEd. AP.078

Her Majesty The Queen (appellant) v. Craig Bartholomew Legare (respondent)

(0603-0098-A; 2008 ABCA 138)

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

Alberta Court of Appeal

McFadyen, Martin and Watson, JJ.A.

April 10, 2008.

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 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.

Criminal Law - Topic 708

Sexual offences - Particular offences - Inviting sexual touching - Section 152 of the Criminal Code made it an offence for any person, for a sexual purpose, to invite, counsel or incite a child under age 14 to directly or indirectly touch, with a part of the body or an object, the body of any person, including the accused or the child - The Alberta Court of Appeal stated that the touching "does not itself have to be imminent. The two individuals do not have to directly touch each other, as the touching may be indirect. ... there does not need to be any touching at all as the core verbs involve communication. ... there is nothing in [s. 152] to suggest that Parliament insisted only on express communication. ... This is an offence of communication, not of assault. ... Harm to the child is not required to be proven. ... In sum, I am not persuaded that a trier of fact would have to find that the [accused's] statements to the [child] expressing a desire to perform sex acts on her exclude a finding that he was inviting, inciting or counselling her also to touch him. ... the Crown must show that the accused knowingly communicated for a sexual purpose with a child under the age of fourteen, and that the accused either intended that the child would receive that communication as being an invitation, incitement or counselling to do the physical conduct s. 152 would avoid, or that the accused knew that there was a substantial and unjustified risk that the child would receive that communication as being an invitation, incitement or counselling to do that physical conduct. The actus reus and mens rea must co-exist, so in that sense the mens rea must be present when the communication occurs. ... proof of intention on the part of the accused to be taken seriously by the child about the actual occurrence of physical contact between the adult and the child has not been required ... As to s. 152, the communication by the accused must involve mens rea beyond merely intending 'dirty talk' to a child ... But it may contravene s. 152 if the trier of fact is prepared to infer from the 'dirty talk' that the present mens rea of the accused is within s. 152." - See paragraphs 32 to 47.

Criminal Law - Topic 708

Sexual offences - Particular offences - Inviting sexual touching - [See first Criminal Law - Topic 709 ].

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 of invitation to sexual touching (Criminal Code, s. 152) and 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"- As for inviting sexual touching, there was no evidence that the accused invited the girl to touch him for a sexual purpose - The Alberta Court of Appeal affirmed the acquittal for inviting sexual touching for want of the requisite mens rea, but 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).

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 Alberta Court of Appeal stated that s. 172.1(1)(c) "centres on communication to facilitate the offences ... That facilitation does not require either actus reus or mens rea that is dependent upon the present intent of the accused to specifically achieve the physical conduct contemplated by those offences. ... The [accused] argues that the offence is restricted to cases where the adult is proven to have actually intended to carry out a physical contact with the specific child. I disagree. The actus reus of the offence ... should not be restricted to situations where the adult attempts to persuade the child to meet. Such a reading would considerably narrow the ordinary and grammatical meaning of the word 'facilitating' ... The trial judge placed considerable emphasis on the word 'luring', which appears in the marginal note next to the opening line of s. 172.1 of the Code but nowhere in the section wording itself. Use of the concept of 'luring' in the manner done by the trial judge narrowed the scope of 'facilitating' by introducing a notion of enticing a child to move physically from one place to another. As a 'marginal note' the reference to 'luring' is of limited value for statutory interpretation ... The actus reus of the offence under s. 172.1(1)(c) should not be restricted to situations where the adult attempts to presuade the specific child to meet away from the parents' control. ... The mens rea for s. 172.1(1)(c) relates to the terms 'communicates' and 'facilitating'. ... even if the accused person is not shown to have an actual present intention to meet in order to personally commit the offence under s. 151 or 152 with the recipient child, a 'purpose of facilitating' however far off or unlikely, would be sufficient." - See paragraphs 48 to 63.

Statutes - Topic 1845

Interpretation - Intrinsic aids - Titles, headings and section numbers - Headings and marginal notes - In interpreting s. 172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, the trial judge relied on the marginal note defining the offence as internet "luring" - "Luring" appeared nowhere in the section - The Alberta Court of Appeal stated that "as a 'marginal note' the reference to 'luring' is of limited value for statutory interpretation" - See paragraph 56.

Words and Phrases

Facilitating - The Alberta Court of Appeal discussed the meaning of the word "facilitating", as found in s. 172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 - See paragraphs 48 to 63.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Clark (D.M.), [2005] 1 S.C.R. 6; 329 N.R. 10; 208 B.C.A.C. 6; 344 W.A.C. 6; 2005 SCC 2, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Morin, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 345; 88 N.R. 161; 30 O.A.C. 81; 44 C.C.C.(3d) 193, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Skalbania (N.M.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 995; 220 N.R. 349; 99 B.C.A.C. 81; 162 W.A.C. 81; 120 C.C.C.(3d) 217, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Audet (Y.), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 171; 197 N.R. 172; 175 N.B.R.(2d) 81; 446 A.P.R. 81; 106 C.C.C.(3d) 481, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 771, [2005] 3 S.C.R. 425; 341 N.R. 357; 275 Sask.R. 1; 365 W.A.C. 1; 2005 SCC 70, refd to. [para. 17].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1; 2002 SCC 33, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. T.L.B. (2007), 409 A.R. 40; 402 W.A.C. 40; 2007 ABCA 61, leave to appeal refused (2007), 375 N.R. 391 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Gladue (J.T.), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688; 238 N.R. 1; 121 B.C.A.C. 161; 198 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 30].

Canada 3000 Inc. (Bankrupt), Re, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 865; 349 N.R. 1; 212 O.A.C. 338; 2006 SCC 24, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Mac (M.K.), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 856; 287 N.R. 75; 159 O.A.C. 33; 2002 SCC 24, refd to. [para. 31].

R. v. Hasselwander, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 398; 152 N.R. 247; 62 O.A.C. 285, refd to. [para. 31].

R. v. Fong (S.W.H.) (1994), 157 A.R. 73; 77 W.A.C. 73; 92 C.C.C.(3d) 171 (C.A.), leave to appeal denied (1995), 118 N.R. 236; 174 A.R. 398; 102 W.A.C. 398; 94 C.C.C.(3d) vii (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 32].

R. v. H.D. (1990), 112 N.B.R.(2d) 91; 281 A.P.R. 91 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 34].

R. v. Hamilton (R.L.), [2005] 2 S.C.R. 432; 336 N.R. 302; 371 A.R. 201; 354 W.A.C. 201; 2005 SCC 47, refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Buzzanga and Durocher (1979), 25 O.R.(2d) 705; 49 C.C.C.(2d) 369 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Harding (M.) (2001), 152 O.A.C. 230; 160 C.C.C.(3d) 225 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Clemente (V.F.), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 758; 168 N.R. 310; 95 Man.R.(2d) 161; 70 W.A.C. 161; 91 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 42].

R. v. Graveline (R.), [2006] 1 S.C.R. 609; 347 N.R. 268; 2006 SCC 16, refd to. [para. 51].

R. v. Deck (B.S.) (2006), 384 A.R. 106; 367 W.A.C. 106; 208 C.C.C.(3d) 341; 2006 ABCA 92, refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Jarvis (K.) (2006), 214 O.A.C. 189; 211 C.C.C.(3d) 20 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Folino (S.) (2005), 203 O.A.C. 258; 77 O.R.(3d) 641 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Carratt, [2005] A.J. No. 743 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Okipnak, [2005] A.J. No. 1953 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Randall (K.S.) (2006), 247 N.S.R.(2d) 29; 785 A.P.R. 29; 2006 NSPC 19, refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Dhandhukia, [2007] O.J. No. 592 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Symes, [2005] O.J. No. 6041 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Brown (P.T.), [2006] O.J. No. 1523 (Sup. Ct.), affd. (2007), 228 O.A.C. 199; 2007 ONCA 607, refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Jepson, [2004] O.J. No. 5521 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Harvey, [2004] O.J. No. 1389 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. C.J., [2005] O.J. No. 5732 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Horeczy (J.G.) (2006), 209 Man.R.(2d) 311 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Innes (J.) (2007), 423 A.R. 14; 2007 ABPC 237, refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Blanchard, [2003] O.J. No. 5510 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 53].

R. v. Starratt (J.R.) (2007), 251 N.S.R.(2d) 318; 802 A.P.R. 318; 2007 NSCA 21, refd to. [para. 53].

Imperial Oil Ltd. v. Minister of National Revenue, [2006] 2 S.C.R. 447; 353 N.R. 201; 2006 SCC 46, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Wigglesworth, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 541; 81 N.R. 161; 24 O.A.C. 321; 61 Sask.R. 105, refd to. [para. 56].

Skapinker v. Law Society of Upper Canada, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 357; 53 N.R. 169; 3 O.A.C. 321; 9 D.L.R.(4th) 161, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Walker (W.R.) (2000), 137 O.A.C. 293 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Chartrand (J.), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 864; 170 N.R. 161; 74 O.A.C. 257; 91 C.C.C.(3d) 396, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Meddoui, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 320, affing. (1990), 111 A.R. 295 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 57].

Medovarski v. Canada (Ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l'Immigration), [2005] 2 S.C.R. 539; 339 N.R. 1; 2005 SCC 51, refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Plummer (D.) (2006), 217 O.A.C. 201; 214 C.C.C.(3d) 84 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Joncas (W.R.) (2007), 313 N.B.R.(2d) 353; 809 A.P.R. 353; 2007 NBCA 28, refd to. [para. 59].

Whitney v. Inland Revenue Commissioners, [1926] A.C. 37, refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Sharpe (J.R.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45; 264 N.R. 201; 146 B.C.A.C. 161; 239 W.A.C. 161; 2001 SCC 2, refd to. [para. 61].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 152, sect. 172.1(1)(c) [para. 19].

Counsel:

J.C. Robb, Q.C., and J. Morgan, for the appellant;

L.K. Stevens, Q.C., and G.M. Johnson, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on June 8, 2007, before McFadyen, Martin and Watson, JJ.A., of the Alberta Court of Appeal.

On April 10, 2008, Watson, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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  • R v Baker,
    • Canada
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    ...R v Wigglesworth, [1987] 2 SCR 541 at para 19; Canada Trustco Mortgage Co v Canada, 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......
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