Using Your Sexual History to Support Your Case of Sexual Assault

Under specific conditions, you would be permitted to inform the court of the sexual history between yourself and the accuser if you are charged with sexual assault in Canada. Seek help from legal attorney Nicholas Preovolos,

What does Canada’s rape shield law entail?

The accuser and the complainant frequently have some form of prior relationship in sexual assault cases. Before the alleged assault, they might have been “friends with benefits” or in a relationship. If so, the defendant might want to inform the court of this.

On this kind of proof, there are, nonetheless, some extremely strict guidelines. This is due to a late 20th-century law in Canada known as the “rape shield” that restricts the defendant’s attorney’s ability to utilize the accuser’s sexual history as proof in a rape trial.

The purpose of the law is to prevent the complainant from having their sexual past used against them in court. The evidence may be altered to indicate that the accuser was opportunistic and/or had previously given consent to sex with the accused. Therefore, it was considered unjust and not permitted in the past. The implication was that the accuser was a suspect witness and was more probably than not in agreement with the sexual conduct.

Unusual circumstances

However, there are still situations in which sexual past can be used as proof in cases of sexual assault. The twin myth will not be utilized to justify exceptions for particular instances of sexual conduct that are pertinent to the case.

The Supreme Court has covered not all circumstances in which sexual past information might be pertinent. The court did explain, though, that such information would be vital if it demonstrates that the accused had a sincere but false idea that the intercourse was consenting.

It may be pertinent in cases with prior contradictory claims concerning sexual activity.

To support the defendant’s assertion that he considered the intercourse to be consensual, proof of a particular pattern of consenting sexual conduct between the parties, for instance, may be accepted.

Each case will ultimately be judged on its own merits.

The court will take into account the following considerations when determining whether a sexual past can be utilized to defend a case of sexual assault:

  • The case’s circumstances
  • How the evidence is presented
  • How the defense plans to utilize the facts and their justification
  • Whether the evidence may be biased