May 18, 2018
Kasirer, St-Pierre, Roy
Application for leave to appeal. Appeal from sentence. Application and appeal allowed.
The applicant appeals from a judgment of the Court of Quebec imposing on the respondent an overall sentence of one year of detention for the offences of luring, the transmission of sexually explicit material to a child, invitation to sexual touching, and the production and possession of juvenile pornography, the sentence for each offence to be served concurrently to the others.
The offence of luring seeks to prevent the psychological manipulation of children for sexual purposes in a digital environment. It is a so-called preparatory offence that criminalizes communications that precede and prepare for the commission of other sexual offences, regardless of whether the latter are in fact realized. As such, the luring committed by the respondent is a separate offence from those he committed when he was communicating with the victim on Facebook, and a sentence consecutive to the others can therefore be justified. Moreover, the trial judge erred in principle by finding that the respondent’s knowledge of the victim was a mitigating factor, and this error influenced his choice to impose the one-year minimum sentence for luring. The fact that the respondent knew the twelve-year-old victim allowed him to set up a system to groom her with the ultimate goal of having sexual relations with her; consequently, the minimum sentence imposed by the trial judge is unduly lenient given the respondent’s moral blameworthiness and the subjective seriousness of the offence. Therefore, considering the range of applicable sentences, a total sentence of two years and three months would be proportionate to the seriousness of the offences and reflect the respondent’s degree of responsibility. However, in light of the sentence sought by the applicant, and due to considerations of fairness to the respondent, the respondent is sentenced to twelve months’ detention for the offence of luring, to be served consecutively to the overall sentence of one year of detention for the other offences.
*Summary by SOQUIJ
Text of the decision:
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