In Canada, some sexual acts and behaviours involving a child or teen are crimes. This article discusses some examples.
Producing, printing, publishing, distributing, transmitting, making available, selling, importing, exporting, possessing or accessing child pornography is a crime. Advertising child pornography is also a crime.
Luring is tricking a person under 18 into committing a crime.
Communicating with a person under 18 using a computer, tablet or cell phone with the intention of committing a sexual offence is a crime.
Examples: chatting online with a 15-year old and asking him to touch his private parts or asking a 17-year old to send intimate images of himself by text
Touching a child under 16 for a sexual purpose is a crime. Sexually touching a child using an object is also a crime.
A person who asks a child under 16 to touch the person, to touch themselves or to touch another person commits the crime of invitation to sexual touching. The person can be accused of this crime even if no touching actually happens.
Important! Sexual touching is allowed between teens, even under 16, if their age difference respects the law for their consent to be valid. Also, one partner must not be in a position of authority or trust over the other, and the teen must not be in a relationship of dependency or exploitation with the partner.
The sexual partner of a teen 16 or older can be accused of sexual exploitation if the relationship makes the teen dependent on the partner or if it exploits the teen. A partner who is in a position of authority or trust over a teen can also be accused of sexual exploitation. For example, a teacher is usually considered in a position of authority or trust over a teen.
In these situations, the teen’s consent is not valid, even if the teen says yes.
Important: The crime of sexual exploitation only involves teens. This is different from the expression “sexual exploitation” often used when referring to prostitutes or human trafficking.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.