The criminal offences of assault and sexual assault are defined in Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The crimes are summarized below, as follows:
1. Assault is committed when:
- Without the consent of another person, the accused intentionally applies force, either directly or indirectly, against the individual.
- The accused threatens or attempts to apply force to the victim, by act or gesture. The accused has, or causes the victim to believe, on reasonable grounds that the accused presently has the ability to affect their purpose.
- Or, while openly carrying or wearing a weapon or imitation weapon, the accused accosts or impedes the victim or begs.
2. This section of the Criminal Code of Canada applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual assault causing bodily harm, as well as threats to cause bodily harm while committing sexual assault.
- The accused obtained, where the victim submitted or did not resist, by reason of the application of force to them, or to a person other than the victim.
- There were threats of force or the fear that force was going to be used either against the victim or to another person.
- The accused fraudulently misled the victim.
- Or the accused exercised their authority over the victim.
3. Where the accused alleges they believed the victim consented to the act, as related to the criminal assault offence, a judge, if satisfied there is sufficient evidence to bring charges, and if the defence could be believed by the jury, the judge can instruct the jury when reviewing the evidence in the case, relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused statement and belief of consent, to either consider the absence or presence of reasonable grounds for that belief.