- Type of Charges: Allegations of historical sexual assault
- Result: Win. No Charges
- Win identifier number: 9941
- Lawyer: Sean Fagan
- Location: Calgary, AB
- Date: 2022
X.X. was confronted with serious allegations of committing sexual assault that occurred several decades ago. The police wanted to question X.X. on these allegations. However, X.X. knew the significance of seeking legal counsel before conversing with the police, regardless of their innocence.
Unknown to most people, one can give a lengthy statement to the police highlighting their innocence, and at trial, the defense cannot elect to use that statement. The Crown prosecutor is the only one to decide to use it. This fact is not typically disclosed before the interrogation. Instead, the police state the opposite, informing you that it is your chance to disclose the truth and claim your innocence to the judge. In reality, if the statement does not indicate your guilt, the prosecutor will typically not use it at trial, and thus, the judge will never see it. Police interrogations are unfair, as individuals are in a vulnerable position against the power of the state. This is why one should consult a lawyer before any interrogation.
In this instance, X.X. consulted with Sean Fagan and attended the interrogation. Ultimately, the police decided not to lay charges after conversations between them and Sean Fagan.
In Canada, sexual assault is viewed as one of the most severe criminal offenses, resulting in the absence of a statute of limitations on charges associated with sexual assault. There is no time limit within which sexual assault charges must be laid.
The lack of a statute of limitations is rooted in the fact that sexual assault is a traumatic crime that can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s physical and psychological well-being. It may take some time for victims to come forward and report the crime due to fear, shame, or other factors. Not having a time limit on charges ensures that victims can seek justice irrespective of how long has passed since the assault occurred.
While there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault charges, evidence can become more difficult to obtain, and memories may fade over time, making it more challenging to secure a conviction. Nonetheless, this does not diminish the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions and giving victims a voice.
Canada’s lack of a statute of limitations on sexual assault charges shows its commitment to justice and ensuring that victims of sexual assault have the opportunity to seek legal recourse regardless of when the crime occurred.