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Can't find your category? Find the Right Lawyer Now! Choose Your Legal Category: The age of consent is the age at which a young person can legally agree to sexual activity.
Age of consent laws apply to all forms of sexual activity, ranging from kissing and fondling to sexual intercourse. The age of consent to sexual activity is 16 years. In some cases, the age of consent is higher for example, when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency. In other words, a person must be at least 16 years old to be able to legally agree to sexual activity.
A 14 or 15 year old can consent to sexual activity as long as the partner is less than five years older and there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency or any other exploitation of the young person. This means that if the partner is 5 years or older than the 14 or 15 year old, any sexual activity is a criminal offence.
There is also a "close in age" exception for 12 and 13 year olds. A 12 or 13 year old can consent to sexual activity with a partner as long as the partner is less than two years older and there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency or any other exploitation of the young person.
This means that if the partner is 2 years or older than the 12 or 13 year old, any sexual activity is a criminal offence. The following factors may be taken into account when determining whether a relationship is exploitative of the young person:.
The Criminal Code protects all Canadians from sexual abuse and exploitation. For example, it protects everyone, including children, against:. It is against the law for anyone to use the internet to communicate with a young person in order to commit a sexual or abduction offence against that young person. This offence is sometimes called "internet luring. It is against the law for anyone to expose their genital organs for a sexual purpose to a person under the age of 16 years. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years.