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Supreme Court rules ‘belief’ requirement in child luring law is unconstitutional

 

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a provision of the country’s internet child luring laws is unconstitutional and is ordering a new trial for a Toronto-area man.

Douglas Morrison posted an ad on Craigslist in 2013 seeking “a little girl to meet” and then had sexually explicit conversations by computer with a police officer claiming to be a 14-year-old girl.

Morrison said during his trial he believed the respondent was an adult and they were role-playing, but he was convicted nonetheless.

The Supreme Court today overturned the conviction citing errors made by the trial judge.

The Supreme Court also unanimously agreed the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused truly believed the person they were speaking to was underage.

The court was also asked to consider an appeal by the Crown that Morrison was not given the mandatory one-year minimum sentence, but the justices did not make a decision on that in this case.

The Canadian Press

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