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Homosexuality was legalized in 1991, but "public homosexuality" is an offense that carries a 20-year jail term without parole. (1) Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above fourteen years of age and under sixteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life subject to, on a first conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of seven years and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of fourteen years. Section 5, part I "Sexual intercourse with person between 14 and 16" of the Sexual Offences Act 1992 (1) Where a person has sexual intercourse with another with the other's consent and that other person has attained the age of 14 but has not yet attained the age of 16 that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.
A female adult is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) – (a) if she honestly believed that the male person was sixteen years of age or more; or (b) if the female adult is not more than three years older than the male person and the court is of the opinion that evidence discloses that as between the female adult and the male person, the female adult is not wholly or substantially to blame. It is determined in Part 14 of the Criminal Code - SEXUAL OFFENCES -Sexual Offences Against Minors - by Article 143.The age of consent was raised from 14 to 16 in the spring of 2008, when the Tackling Violent Crime Act became effective.The new measures still allow for close-in-age exceptions between 12 and 16: if there is no more than a two-year gap for those 12 and 13, or a five-year gap for those 14 and 15.Both partners must be of legal age to give consent, although exceptions to the age of consent law exist in some jurisdictions when the minor and his or her partner are within a certain number of years in age or when a minor is married to his/her partner.Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault.This passed before the 2008 amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 (16-17). 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offence under s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s.
Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of sixteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.
The punishment for anyone who had sexual intercourse with someone younger than 14 was life imprisonment and whipping, while the punishment for anyone who attempted to seduce an underage girl was two years' imprisonment and whipping.
Canada had also laws against "seducing" minor girls who were over the age of consent.
The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach.
Section 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can infer whether or not a relationship is "exploitative" by considering its nature and circumstances including how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved, and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth.
A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than they.