Householder Permitting Sexual Activity (Offence)

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Householder Permitting Sexual Activity
s. 171 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Indictment
Jurisdiction Prov. Court

Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
Sup. Court w/ Judge-alone (*)

* Must be indictable. Preliminary inquiry also available.
Types of Release Judicial Release Only
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Minimum 1 year incarceration
Maximum 14 years incarceration
Reference
Offence Elements
Sentence Digests

Overview

Offences relating to householder permitting sexual activity are found in Part V of the Criminal Code relating to "Sexual Offences, Public Morals and Disorderly Conduct".

Pleadings

Offence
Section
Offence
Type
Crown Election Defence Election
s. 536(2)
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
July 17, 2015 to present
Indictable Offence(s) N/A Yes
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
Until July 16, 2015
Hybrid Offence(s) N/A Yes, if Crown proceeds by Indictment

Offences under s. 171 are straight indictable. There is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Release

Offence(s) Attendance Notice
Without Arrest

s. 496
Summons
Without Arrest
s. 497
Release By
Arresting Officer
On Attendance Notice
s. 497
Release By
Officer-in-Charge
On a Promise to Appear
Undertaking or Recognizance
s. 498
Release By
a Judge or Justice
on a PTA, Undertaking or Recog.

s. 515
Direct to Attend
for Fingerprints, etc.
Identification of Criminals Act

s. 2 ID Crim. Act
s. 171 X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png

When charged under s. 171, the accused cannot be released by police under s. 497 or 498 and so must be held in custody when arrested. They must then be brought before a judge or justice under s. 503 and are only to be released by an order of a judge or justice pursuant to s. 515. A youth will be subject to a maximum penalty of 3 years under s. 42(15) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and so may be given an attendance notice or a summons without a s. 496 arrest, and if arrested, can be released by the arresting officer under s. 497 on a attendance notice or by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. The youth can also be released by an order of a judge or justice under s. 515.

If police decide to bring the accused before a Justice pursuant to s. 503, there will be a presumption against bail (i.e. a reverse onus) if the offence, prosecuted by indictment, was committed:

  • while at large under s. 515 [bail release], 679 or 680 [release pending appeal or review of appeal] (s. 515(6)(a)(i));
  • "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association" with a criminal organization (s. 515(6)(a)(ii));
  • where the offence involved a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, while the accused was subject to a prohibition order preventing possession of these items (s. 515(6)(a)(viii)); or
  • where the accused is not "ordinarily a resident in Canada" (s. 515(6)(b)).

A peace officer who charges a person under s. 171 of the Code can require that person to attend for the taking of fingerprints, photographs or other similar recordings that are used to identify them under the Identification of Criminals Act.

Publication Bans
For all offences there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victims under s. 111 of the YCJA.

Section s. 171 offences permit a judge to order a discretionary publication ban for sexual offences under s. 486.4 that protects "information that could identify the victim or a witness". Where the witness is under the age of 18 or if in relation to a victim, the order is mandatory under s. 486.4(2).

Offence Designations
Offences under s. 171 are designated offences eligible for wiretap under s. 183.

Offences under s. 171 are "designated" offences under s. 752 for the purpose of dangerous offender applications.

See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.

Offence Wording

Householder permitting prohibited sexual activity
171 Every owner, occupier or manager of premises, or any other person who has control of premises or assists in the management or control of premises, who knowingly permits a person under the age of 18 years to resort to or to be in or on the premises for the purpose of engaging in any sexual activity prohibited by this Act is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 171; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 5; 2005, c. 32, s. 9.1; 2008, c. 6, s. 54; 2012, c. 1, s. 20; 2015, c. 23, s. 9.


CCC

Proof of the Offence

Proving householder permitting sexual activity under s. 171 should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit is an "owner, occupier or manager" of a premises or "has control of premises or assists in the management or control of premises";
  5. the culprit permits a person to resort to or to be in or on the premises for the purpose of engaging in any sexual activity;
  6. the person is under the age of 18 years;
  7. the prohibited sexual activity is prohibited under the Criminal Code; and
  8. the culprit does the prohibited conduct knowingly.

Interpretation of the Offence

Evidence

As an enumerated offence under s. 274, 275, 276, 277, and 278.2 the following additional evidentiary rules apply:

  • Corroboration is not required for conviction and the judge cannot instruct on need for corroboration (s. 274);
  • common law rules relating to "recent complaint" do not apply for this offence (s. 275);
  • prior sexual history of the complainant "is not admissible to support an inference that...by reason of the sexual nature of that activity, the complainant...is more likely to have consented to the sexual activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge; or... is less worthy of belief." (s. 276);
  • any evidence of sexual activity other than the "activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge" must be admitted through a s. 276 application (s. 276);
  • any "evidence of sexual reputation, whether general or specific, is not admissible for the purpose of challenging or supporting the credibility of the complainant." (s. 277);
  • "no record relating to a complainant or a witness" shall be disclose to the accused except in accordance with a production application under s. 278.3 to 278.91 (s. 278.2).

Participation of Third Parties

See also: Role of the Victim and Third Parties and Testimonial Aids for Young, Disabled or Vulnerable Witnesses

Testimonial Aids
Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).

A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.

On Finding of Guilt
Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".

Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.

Sentencing Principles and Ranges

See also: Purpose and Principles of Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence
For general principles on sentence for sexual offences, see Sexual Offences

Maximum Penalties

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Maximum Penalty
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
July 17, 2015 to present
N/A 14 years custody
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
victim under 14 years
Until July 16, 2015
N/A 5 years custody
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
victim under 18 years
Until July 16, 2015
N/A 2 years custody

Offences under s. 171 are straight indictable. The maximum penalty is 14 years incarceration.

Minimum Penalties

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Minimum Penalty
First Offence
Minimum Penalty
Subsequent Offence
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
July 17, 2015 to present
N/A 1 year custody Same
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity], victims under age 16
July 2, 2008 to July 17, 2015
N/A 6 months custody Same
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity], victims under age 18, but no less than 16
July 2, 2008 to July 17, 2015
N/A 45 days custody Same
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity], victims under age 14
November 1, 2005 to July 1, 2008
N/A 6 months custody Same
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity], victims under age 18, but no less than 14
November 1, 2005 to July 1, 2008
N/A 45 days custody Same

For offences under s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity] there is a mandatory minimum penalty of 1 year incarceration.

Available Dispositions

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Discharge
s. 730
Suspended
Sentence

s. 731(1)(a)
Stand-alone
Fine

s. 731(1)(b)
Custody
s. 718.3, 787
Custody and
Probation
s. 731(1)(b)
Custody and
Fine
s. 734
Conditional
Sentence
(CSO)
s. 742.1
s. 171 [householder permitting sexual activity]
Fomr November 1, 2005 to present
N/A X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png

Offences under s. 171 have mandatory minimums. There are no discharges, suspended sentences, stand-alone fines, or conditional sentences available.

Consecutive Sentences
There are no statutory requirements that the sentences be consecutive.

Principles

Young Victim
Section 718.01 requires sentencing judges to "give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence" when conduct "involved the abuse of a person under the age of eighteen years". Where the evidence shows that the offender, "in committing the offence, abused a person under the age of eighteen years, shall be deemed to be an aggravating circumstances" under s. 718.2(a)(ii.1). Where the offender is in a "position of trust or authority" in relation to the victim, it will also be aggravating under s. 718.2(a)(iii).

Ranges

see also: Householder Permitting Sexual Activity (Sentencing Cases)

Ancillary Sentencing Orders

See also: Ancillary Orders

Offence-specific Orders

Order Conviction Description
DNA Orders s. 171(a)
SOIRA Orders s. 171(a)
  • On conviction under s. 171(a), as listed under s. 490.011(a), a SOIRA Order is mandatory as "designated offence" under s. 490.011(1)(a) regardless of Crown election
      • If there is a concurrent or prior conviction for a designated offence, the duration is life (s. 490.012(3))
      • Otherwise, the duration is 10 years as the offence was "prosecuted summarily or if the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence is two or five years".
      • There is an option for early termination under s. 490.015 available after 5 years (if 10 year order) or 20 years (if life order)

Note that by function of s. 490.011(2) of the Code, SOIRA orders are not available when sentencing under the Youth Criminal Justice Act

Section 161 Orders s. 171(a)
  • If convicted under s. 171(a), the judge may make discretionary 161 Order.
Delayed Parole Order s. 171
  • Periods of imprisonment of 2 years or more for convictions under s. 171 are eligible for delayed parole order under s. 743.6(1) requiring the offender to serve at least "one half of the sentence or ten years, whichever is less", "where denunciation of the offence or the objective of specific or general deterrence so requires".

General Sentencing Orders

Order Conviction Description
Non-communication order while offender in custody (s. 743.21) any The judge has discretion to order that the offender be prohibited "from communicating...with any victim, witness or other person" while in custody except where the judge "considers [it] necessary" to communicate with them.
Restitution Orders (s. 738) any A discretionary Order is available for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.
Victim Fine Surcharge (s. 737) any A mandatory surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order is discretionary based on ability to pay and the minimum amounts are smaller (15%, $50, or $100).

General Forfeiture Orders

Forfeiture Conviction Description
Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime (s. 462.37(1) or (2.01)) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence under the Code or the CDSA in which property is "proceeds of crime" and offence was "committed in relation to that property", the property shall be forfeited to Her Majesty the Queen on application of the Crown.
Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture (s. 462.37(3)) any Where a Court is satisfied an order for the forfeiture of proceeds of crime under s. 462.37(1) or (2.01) can be made, but that property cannot be "made subject to an order", then the Court "may" order a fine in "an amount equal to the value of the property". Failure to pay the fine will result in a default judgement imposing a period of incarceration.
Forfeiture of Weapons or Firearms (s. 491) any Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.
Forfeiture of Offence-related Property (s. 490.1) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence, "any property is offence-related property" where (a) by means or in respect of which an indictable offence under this Act or the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is committed, (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of such an offence, or (c) that is intended to be used for committing such an offence". Such property is to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province.

History

See also: List of Criminal Code Amendments