One Colwood woman has been convicted of sexual assault and luring and another acquitted after the two engaged in sexual activity with three teen boys.
In the spring of 2020, all five were residents of a townhouse complex in Colwood, according to an agreed statement of facts.
One evening in April, the three boys and a fourth friend visited the unit of the woman referred to as Ms. P, after agreeing to trade some marijuana for alcohol.
At the time, the three boys in question were aged 13, 14 and 15, while Ms. P was 24 or 25, and the woman known as Ms. D was of an unknown age. All of their names are protected under a court-imposed publication ban.
As the evening went on, the boys and women became intoxicated to varying degrees and Ms. D performed a solo dance, removing some or all of her clothes. Soon after, Ms. P and the 15-year-old boy went upstairs and had sex.
Upon their return, Ms. D took the 14-year-old upstairs and had sex with him. When they were finished, all the boys but the 13-year-old left. Ms. D then took him upstairs and had sex with him.
In his decision Nov. 24 read at the Western Communities Courthouse, Judge Ted Gouge said his choices depended not on whether the boys agreed to the activities, which he found they all did, but on whether they were legally able to consent.
In Canada, the legal age of consent is 16. Exceptions are made for youth age 14 or 15, who can consent to sexual activity with someone less than five years older, and 12 or 13 year olds, who can consent to sexual activity with someone less than two years older.
Because Crown counsel was unable to definitively prove the age of Ms. D, the judge stated he could not determine whether the sexual activity met the exception for underage consent and acquitted her on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual touching.
Ms. P, on the other hand, was known to be more than five years older than the 15 year old. Her defence instead rested on the assertion that she mistakenly believed he was over the age of 16.
Testimonies from the boys and women gave mixed accounts of what age the 15 year old told Ms. P he was at the time, but ultimately Gouge determined that Ms. P didn’t do enough to find out.
“Asking a young boy who has been consuming alcohol and marijuana, and who is visibly eager to have sex, to state his age is not a reasonable way to determine his age,” Gouge said. “She could, and should, have postponed her overtures for a few days to allow her to make enquiries in the neighbourhood.”
As such, Gouge found Ms. P guilty on two counts of sexually assaulting the 15 year old and one count of luring him. The judge dismissed two sexual touching charges against her, as the assaults overrode them, and two internet luring charges, combining them into one.
Ms. P now awaits a sentencing hearing.