section 272(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section of the Criminal Code of Canada defines various circumstances under which a person can be charged with sexual assault.

SECTION WORDING

272(1) Every person commits an offence who, in committing a sexual assault, (a) carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon; (b) threatens to cause bodily harm to a person other than the complainant; (c) causes bodily harm to the complainant; or (d) is a party to the offence with any other person.

EXPLANATION

Section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is designed to prohibit sexual assaults under specified circumstances. Sexual assault is a serious criminal offense that involves forcing someone to participate in a sexual act without their consent. This section applies to situations in which the perpetrator uses a weapon or threatens to use a weapon during the assault. It is also applicable in cases where the offender threatens to harm a third person or causes bodily harm to the complainant. Subsection (a) is concerned with cases where a weapon or an imitation of a weapon is used during the commission of a sexual assault. Such weapons could include firearms, knives, and other objects that may be used to intimidate or overpower the victim. The use of these weapons aggravates the offense and places the victim at even greater risk of harm. Subsection (b) applies when an individual threatens to cause bodily harm to a person other than the victim. This could include threatening to harm the victim's family, friends, or loved ones, creating a sense of fear and insecurity for the victim. The harm threatened against the third person need not be physical; it could be financial, emotional, or psychological. Subsection (c) covers cases where bodily harm is caused to the complainant. Bodily harm refers to any physical harm inflicted on the victim and includes injuries like bruises, cuts, broken bones, and any other physical trauma. This offense is particularly serious, and offenders may face significant penalties in such cases. Subsection (d) deals with cases where an individual is a collaborator in the offense, whether by aiding, abetting, or encouraging the perpetrator. In such cases, both parties may be held responsible for the commission of the sexual assault. Overall, Section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is intended to protect individuals from sexual assault under various aggravated circumstances while sending a strong message that this kind of behavior is a criminal offense that will not be tolerated. This provision imposes severe penalties on offenders and can result in considerable fines, imprisonment, or both.

COMMENTARY

Section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada lays out the types of actions that constitute sexual assault when committed in conjunction with other specified circumstances. Sexual assault is a serious crime that can result in significant harm to individuals and damage to communities. This section is an important part of the law that helps to properly define and punish these types of actions. The first part of this section deals with the use or threat of a weapon, whether real or an imitation. This is a particularly serious type of sexual assault as it involves the use of physical force to intimidate and coerce the victim. It is often used to gain compliance or control over the victim, as well as to create a sense of fear and terror. The use of weapons or imitations of weapons during sexual assault increases the risk of physical harm to the victim and can also cause significant psychological trauma. This is why the inclusion of this factor in Section 272(1) is so important. The second part of the section deals with threats to cause bodily harm to a person other than the complainant. This type of sexual assault is especially insidious as it is often used to force the victim to comply with the perpetrator's demands. The threat of harm to a loved one can cause the victim to feel helpless and trapped, making them more likely to submit to the perpetrator's will. This type of assault is a violation not only of the victim's body, but also of their sense of safety and security. The third part of the section deals with sexual assault resulting in bodily harm to the victim. This type of assault can have severe physical and psychological consequences for the victim. While all sexual assaults are serious, those that result in bodily harm are particularly egregious. The victim may require medical attention, may suffer permanent physical injuries, and may also experience lasting psychological trauma. Finally, the fourth part of the section deals with individuals who are part of a larger sexual assault incident. This includes accomplices who help to facilitate the assault or who are present during the commission of the crime. It is important to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions, especially in cases of sexual assault. The participation of others can exacerbate the harm caused to the victim and create a culture of impunity for sexual assault. Overall, Section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important tool for prosecutors to use in cases of sexual assault. It helps to properly define the different types of assault that can occur, and to ensure that those who commit them are held accountable for their actions. The inclusion of weapon use or threats, harm to third parties, bodily harm to the victim, and accomplice liability helps to ensure that justice is served in even the most complex cases. It is important that society continues to recognize the seriousness of sexual assault and works to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

STRATEGY

Section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a significant piece of legislation that deals with the commission of sexual assault. It identifies various circumstances under which an individual can be charged with a criminal offence for sexual assault. As such, it is essential for legal practitioners, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice professionals to know the provisions of the section and the implications it may have on their work. Some strategic considerations when dealing with section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada may include understanding the nature and seriousness of the offences under the section. Sexual assault is a severe form of criminal activity that can result in significant harm to the victim and offenders. Any person who commits sexual assault under circumstances such as carrying or using weapons, causing harm to the complainant, or being a party to the offence with any other person is considered to have committed a more serious offence under the law. Therefore, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors can prioritize these cases and allocate more resources to investigate and prosecute them. Another strategy that can be employed in dealing with the section is enhancing public awareness of the offences and the legal consequences they carry. By sensitizing the public and potential offenders to the provisions of the law, it may be possible to reduce the incidence of sexual assault and other related crimes. This can be achieved through public education campaigns, community outreach programs, and other awareness-raising initiatives. Furthermore, when prosecuting sexual assault cases under section 272(1), prosecutors may consider charging the accused with multiple offences in the same charge. For instance, an accused person who carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon, and causes bodily harm to the complainant can be charged under subsections (a) and (c) of section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. This could increase the severity of the charges and potentially result in harsher sentences upon conviction. Lastly, some of the strategies that can be employed in dealing with section 272(1) may include the use of victim support services. Sexual assault victims may be traumatized and require emotional, medical, and psychological support to cope with the aftermath of the assault. Therefore, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and other criminal justice professionals may collaborate with victim support services to provide such assistance to the victims. In summary, section 272(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical piece of legislation that deals with sexual assault. Understanding the provisions of the section and implementing some of the strategic considerations and strategies discussed above can help prevent the occurrence of sexual assault and provide support to the victims. It is essential to prioritize the prosecution of offenders under the section and allocate the necessary resources to bring them to justice.