Child luring is the act of using the Internet to communicate with a person that you know is under the age of 18 years for the purposes of committing any of the following offences:
- Sexual exploitation
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
You will be also guilty of child luring if you communicate with someone that you know is under the age of 16 years for the purposes for committing any of the following offences:
- Sexual exploitation
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Indecent exposure to a person under 16
- Abduction of a person under 16
Internet luring charges sometimes derive from miscommunications between the complainant and the accused, and sometimes even from undercover operations by the police. For example, the police might act as a minor in chat rooms or networking sites so that they can catch people trying to solicit a minor. If you are caught by an undercover agent, you can still be found guilty of this offence even though you never actually spoke to a minor. You can be charged with this offence even though you merely thought that you contacted a child for one of the reasons listed above.
In order for you to be convicted of this offence, the Crown Prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the following elements:
- That there was intentional communication with the complainant over the computer;
- That you knew or believed the person was under 16 years of age, or that you were reckless or wilfully blind to the fact that they were under the age of 16; and,
- That you were communicating with this person for the purpose of committing an offence listed above.
The punishment for child luring in Canada:
If you are convicted of child luring in Canada, you will be found guilty of a hybrid offence with a minimum jail term, regardless of whether you are punished summarily or by indictment. If the Crown chooses to proceed by indictment and you are found guilty of child luring, you will face a minimum of one year spent in prison and a maximum of 14 years. If the Crown chooses to proceed summarily, you will face a minimum of 6 months in jail and a maximum of 2 years less a day.
Because child luring is a primary designated offence, upon conviction you will also have to submit a sample of your DNA to a national DNA databank. This will allow the police to have access to information about your DNA when they are conducting future investigations. Furthermore, in accordance with the Sexual Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), you will be also ordered to become a registered sex offender. This means that you will need to provide the government with information that will allow them to monitor you after your conviction. This includes information about where you live, work, volunteer, what kind of car you drive, and when you plan to leave the country for more than 7 days.