The Criminal Code prohibits the commodification of sexual activities. However, since the adoption of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, sex workers are protected from criminal prosecution when it comes to providing sexual services themselves. This immunity is provided under section 286.5 of the Criminal Code. However, while offering sexual services is not illegal, many activities related to prostitution are.
Stopping or Impeding Traffic and Communicating
Under section 213 of the Criminal Code, it is prohibited to offer, give or obtain in a public place sexual services for a fee if it has the effect of stopping or attempting to stop a car or if it hinders the movement of pedestrians or cars. It is further forbidden to communicate with anyone for the purpose of offering, rendering or obtaining sexual services in a public place or any place open to public view, which is or is next to a daycare centre, a school site or a playground.
Purchase of Sexual Services
Section 286.1 of the Criminal Code prohibits the purchase of sexual services and any communication for that purpose. Penalties vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, particularly when the offence is committed in a public place where minors may be present.
If the person offering sexual services is under the age of 18, then not only are the maximum penalties greater, but the minimum penalty is 6 months imprisonment.
Being a pimp is an indictable offence under sections 286.2 and 286.3 of the Criminal Code and is punishable by 10 years in prison.
These articles prohibit obtaining material benefits from the sexual services of another person. This includes bringing a person to offer or provide sexual services for a fee. It is obviously forbidden to advertise it, as provided for in section 286.4 of the Criminal Code.
Sentence and Legal Consequences
Many elements should be taken into consideration when figuring out the sentencing for an accusation of commodification of sexual services. As previously stated, the maximum penalties vary greatly based on the specific charges. However, it is important to take into consideration that in addition to the sentence, someone found guilty of an infraction of sexual nature might have their name put on the Sex Offender Register.
If you are accused of one of the offences explained above, it will be important for your lawyer to carry out a detailed analysis of your file in order to know the defences applicable to your situation as well as the possible consequences.
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