In October 2020, upon receiving a report of sexual exploitation at a Toronto-area church dating back more than 15 years, Toronto Police Services began a criminal investigation. This week, their investigation led to the arrest of a former volunteer youth pastor who has been charged with one count of sexual exploitation.
According to Toronto Police Services, it is alleged that 42 year-old Kieran Naidoo was a volunteer youth pastor at Spring Garden Baptist Church in North York between 2002-2005, and during that time, he engaged in online conversations with a young female parishioner in which he made inappropriate sexual comments, sent her explicit videos, and asked her to engage in sexual activity with him.
Police investigators believe that there may be other victims. Anyone with more information is encouraged to contact TPS 41 Division directly at 416-808-4100, or by anonymously informing Crime Stoppers online or by phone at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Sexual abuse refers to any kind of unwanted sexual activity that occurs without consent. In the overwhelming majority of cases, victims of sexual abuse personally know their assaulter.
Speaking out against abusers is an incredibly brave and difficult act for any survivor of sexual assault. In Canada, only 6 in 100 incidents of sexual abuse are reported to the police. Surviving sexual abuse can have long-term emotional reprecussions, including pervasive feelings of anxiety or depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. This is especially true for those who were assaulted or exploited as children or young people, such as the victim in this case.
But victims of sexual assault are entitled to pursue criminal charges or civil action against their abusers, even when this criminal behaviour has taken place years in the past.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, an Ontario lawyer may be able to sensitively and discretely discuss the circumstances of the case, and explain options that may be available in your pursuit of justice.
What is Sexual Exploitation?
The recent criminal investigation cited above led Toronto Police Services to issue a charge of sexual exploitation against the accused. Sexual exploitation is a serious offense, and a form of sexual abuse. Those found guilty of committing this offense could face a substantial term of imprisonment.
As defined by the Canadian Criminal Code, sexual exploitation involves an imbalance of power between a figure of trust or authority and a young person. In these cases, a young person refers to a teenager between the ages of 16-18 years old. These power imbalances might include situations where the young person is dependent on the adult, or is in an exploitative relationship with the adult. Sexual exploitation occurs when the adult in this relationship:
- Directly or indirectly touches any part of the young person’s body for a sexual purpose, either with a part of their body or an object, or:
- Invites, counsels, or incites a young person to touch another person’s body for a sexual purpose, including their own.
This is a form of non-consensual sexual abuse whereby an adult exploits a young person’s trust in their position of authority.
The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Exploitation Cases
In accordance with Ontario’s Limitations Act, there is no limitation period in respect of a proceeding based on sexual assault. This means that no matter how much time has passed since the assault occurred, a victim will still be eligible to bring criminal or civil charges against their abuser. This applies to cases of sexual exploitation, as well.
The criminal prosecution of an accused sexual abuser will not result in their victim receiving financial compensation, even if the accused is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And although those found guilty in criminal proceedings may face substantial prison sentences, only one in fifteen cases of sexual abuse reported to police in Canada results in jail time.
When seeking compensation for sexual abuse, victims may decide to file a civil lawsuit against their assailant or their assailant’s employer. With the assistance of a sexual abuse lawyer, a victim of sexual exploitation may be able to pursue civil litigation to recover damages they incurred as a result of their experience for pain and suffering and lost income among other things, regardless of whether criminal charges were brought.
How a Lawyer Can Help
While no amount of money will truly be able to compensate the survivors of sexual abuse, by filing civil action against their abuser or their employers, victims may be able to recover damages they suffered as a result. These damages are often related to the emotional distress they experienced following their assault. For example, damages could include a victim’s costs of ongoing psychological treatment, or a loss of earning potential as a result of being unable to complete their education, and most importantly, pain and suffering.
When pursuing civil charges for sexual battery or exploitation, a survivor of sexual abuse may find the advice and assistance of a sexual assault lawyer to be extremely beneficial. By working with a lawyer, a victim may be able to compile and present various forms of evidence to substantiate their claim. If successful, a sexual abuse lawyer may be able to help their clients receive financial compensation for the following:
- Physical injuries
- Medical expenses
- Emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
- And possibly more
Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to respectfully review your case, and provide you with useful legal advice. To review the legal options that may be available to you, contact us today.
For a free, initial consultation, call Preszler Injury Lawyers at 1-800-JUSTICE.