If you have been charged with a sexual offence it is important to know the potential consequences of a conviction. A conviction in relation to a sexual offence can have a serious impact on your future. On April 1, 2004 the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (commonly referred to as “SOIRA”) received Royal assent and came into force on December 15, 2004. SOIRA requires the courts, on an application from the prosecutor, to make an order requiring a person convicted of a designated sexual offence, to report to a registration center, and provide personal information. The order is mandatory. Proactive use of the registry allows police to use the registry information for investigative purposes. Additionally, the police will be allowed to check the registry to ensure offenders are in compliance with reporting requirements.
The following Criminal Code offences have been included as designated offences under the SOIRA
- Offences in relation to sexual offences against children
- Sexual interference
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual exploitation of person with a disability
- Compelling the commission of Bestiality
- Bestiality in presence of or by a child
- Child pornography (making, possession, distribution)
- Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
- Making sexually explicit material available to child
- Luring a child
- Agreement or arrangement - sexual offence against child
- Stupefying or overpowering for the purpose of sexual intercourse
- Living on the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of eighteen
- Obtaining prostitution of person under the age of eighteen
- Sexual assault
- Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Removal of Child from Canada
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What Information is Contained in the Sexual Offender Internet Registry?
The National Sex Offender Registry is a national registration system of sex offenders who have been convicted of sexual offences and ordered to report to the police annually. The registry information is only accessible to accredited Canadian Police agencies. It provides the police with important information that aids in their investigation of sexual crimes. The general public does not have access to the database. The following information is included in the registry.
- Name, date of birth, gender, and current address and telephone number of the sex offender
- Address of employment, of volunteer work and/or educational institution
- Current photograph
- Height and weight, including identifying marks (e.g. tattoos, scars)
- Observable characteristics, including eye and hair colour
- Offences convicted, including date, location and type of victim of the offence(s)
- Age and gender of any victim
- Date and duration of the Registration order and the Court that made the order.
Once ordered by the court, the offender must report in person to the police station responsible for the area they live in within 15 days after being released from custody, after conviction, after being found not criminally responsible, and after receiving an absolute or conditional discharge. The offender must continue to report to the police annually for the duration of the court order. Additionally, if there is any change in name, address or employment, the offender must notify the police.
What are the Consequences for Breaching a SOIRA Order?
The penalties for failing to comply with a SOIRA order can be significant. The first time the offender fails to comply the court can order a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months. Subsequent failures to comply with the order put the offender at the risk of being charged with an indictable offence which attracts a jail sentence of up to 2 years. Once registered, an offender may be removed from the registry only if he is acquitted of every offence in connection to the order or has received a free pardon.