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Under section 271 of the Criminal Code, sexual assault refers to touching another person in a sexual manner without their consent.
The key elements of sexual assault are:
Lack of Consent: Sexual assault involves any sexual activity that occurs without the voluntary and clear consent of all parties involved. Consent must be freely given, informed, and ongoing throughout the sexual encounter. Lack of consent can result from various factors, such as force, threats, intimidation, intoxication, or any circumstance where the victim is unable to give informed and voluntary consent.
Non-consensual Sexual Activity: Sexual assault covers a wide range of non-consensual sexual activities, including but not limited to sexual touching, sexual intercourse, and other sexual acts.
One of the most serious offences, sexual assault carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment. Aside from imprisonment, a conviction for sexual assault can result in probation and registration as a sex offender on Canada’s National Sex Offender Registry.