Sexual Assault



A wide range of behaviours have been criminalized as sexual assault under the Canada Criminal Code. Essentially, sexual assault is defined as any unwanted touching of a sexual nature. Thus, sexual assault can encompass anything from intentionally brushing against a stranger at a nightclub all the way up to a violent rape. All of these types of unwanted sexual touching can result in jailtime, criminal records, and having your name placed on a registry of sex offenders.

A criminal defence lawyer can pursue several defences that are available to those accused of sexual assault:

- That the alleged sexual activity never occurred;

- That the alleged sexual activity did occur, but was of a consensual nature;

- That the alleged sexual activity did occur and that an honest, mistaken belief that the activity was consensual existed.

Those charged with sexual assault face challenges in their defence, including the fact that the Criminal Code has placed many limits of the types of evidence that can be used in defence. Example: someone accused of sexual assault is prohibited from using evidence of any previous sexual activity of the complainant (barring an order from the trial judge that grants permission for this) and is also barred from accessing therapeutic records or any other such records that the complainant has an interest of privacy in (again, barring an order from the judge allowing this).

If you have found yourself charged with a sexual assault offence, you are going to need the skills of a Toronto sexual assault lawyer who has a proven track record of defending clients against sexual offences. Toronto sexual assault lawyer Graham Zoppi has successfully defended countless clients against sexual assault charges. While prior cases are no guarantee of future success, you can be comforted in the fact that Mr. Zoppi has not lost a sexual assault trial in over a decade of practicing criminal law in Toronto. In addition to his success as a trial lawyer, he has convinced the office of the Crown Attorney to abandon prosecuting numerous sexual assault charges against his clients without ever having to even set a trial date.

Below you can read about some of his successes in this area of practice.

R. v. C.T.

The accused’s ex-wife claimed that their 4-year-old daughter reported to her that her father, Mr. Zoppi’s client, had touched her genitals. By cross-examining the client’s ex-wife, Toronto sexual assault lawyer Graham Zoppi was able to establish animosity from the ex-wife towards Mr. Zoppi’s client. This created a risk that the ex-wife had potentially influenced her daughter’s testimony. Furthermore, while cross-examining the daughter, Graham Zoppi was able to get the child to agree that the alleged sexual misconduct had never happened. Mr. Zoppi’s client was acquitted of the charges.

R. v. M.S.

Mr. Zoppi’s client had been charged with inappropriate touching of his 15-year-old nephew. Through rigorous cross-examination of the complainant and several long days of questioning, Graham Zoppi was eventually able to expose inconsistencies and other serious issues of credibility in the testimony of the complainant. Because of this, the client was acquitted.

R. v. S.K. (1)

In this case, the accused had met the complainant at a bus platform in the early hours of the morning just after the subway had closed. The complainant was distressed and crying, and Mr. Zoppi’s client consoled her, which eventually progressed to consensual kissing. The complainant alleged that after this the accused engaged in non-consensual intercourse with her. Toronto sexual assault lawyer Graham Zoppi was able through extensive cross-examination of the complainant both at the preliminary hearing and at the trial, to expose several important inconsistencies between the objective physical evidence and the complainant’s account of events. Because of this work, Mr. Zoppi’s client was acquitted of the charges. The decision in this case can be read here:,_[2005]_O.J._No._4579.PDF

R. v. S.K. (2)

While Mr. Zoppi’s client was on bail for the above case, he was charged with another sexual assault, which Mr. Zoppi was able to secure a second bail for. Graham Zoppi then applied to access the psychiatric records of the complainant. Once the permission to access the records was granted, the records revealed various conditions that raised concerns about the complainant’s ability to accurately and clearly recount events. Further, because of delays from third-party records applications and availability problems for interpreters, Graham Zoppi was ultimately able to have the client’s charges dismissed on grounds of unreasonable delay.

R. v. C.B.

After the client’s teenage daughter accused of him sexually molesting her on two separate occasions, he hired Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Zoppi. Mr. Zoppi was able over the course of rigorous cross-examination of the complainant and several days of questioning to expose various inconsistencies and other credibility issues in the testimony of the complainant. His client was acquitted.