What is Child Luring?
Under Canadian law, child luring involves the use of technology with the intent to lure or entice a child under the age of 18 for the purpose of engaging in sexual exploitation, incest, child pornography, and/or sexual assault. There are additional subsets of the law concerning minors under the age of 16 and those under the age of 14
Canadian Criminal Code
Child luring is established under Part V of the Criminal Code relating to “Sexual Offences, Public Morals and Disorderly Conduct”. Section 172.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits anyone from using a computer or other electronic communication device to communicate with a child for the purpose of committing a sexual offence. The offence can also include arranging to meet a child in person for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity or exploitation.
Examples of Child Luring
- Creating a fake online or social media profile to befriend someone under the age of 18.
- Asking a minor to take and send sexual photos/videos.
- Sending a minor sexually explicit photos/videos, and asking for sexual images/videos of them in return.
- Arranging to meet someone you know (or believe) is under the age of 18 in person.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT FOR CHILD LURING?
The penalties for child luring in Canada are severe, with potential prison sentences ranging from six months to a maximum of 14 years, depending on the severity of the offence. Individuals convicted of child luring may also be required to register as a sex offender under OSOR and SOIRA. In addition, Section 161 of the Criminal Code permits the court to make an order prohibiting the offender from visiting public parks or pools, or engaging in contact with persons under the age of 16.
HOW TO DEFEND AGAINST CHILD LURING CHARGES
Very few people admit to knowingly luring a child (usually a teenager). Because of stigma (and the likely jail sentence and criminal record) those accused of child luring will often deny having done it. Therefore, these cases do not frequently result in guilty pleas. Rather, child luring charges will most often be contested in court.
Defences include 1) identity (that it was not them who operated the computer); 2) reasonably believing they were older (and making all reasonable efforts to ascertain the age); and 3) Charter-based defences (seeking exclusion of evidence based upon illegal police conduct).
Police often pretend to be underage children as a way to catch people who are breaking the law. They have the authority to do this, and it doesn’t always mean that the charges against the offenders will be dropped.
Individuals charged with child luring, regardless of the conviction outcome, often face long-lasting stigma and far-reaching consequences.
For this reason, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as you become aware of the fact you have been charged or are under investigation. Laws in this area are very strict and some convictions receive mandatory prison sentences.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime related to child luring, contact Armoured Suits immediately. Our legal team has the knowledge and experience to provide you with the best possible strategy.