DEFENCES - Entrapment

Law360 Canada (November 24, 2022, 1:22 PM EST) -- Appeal by Ramelson from a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that set aside a stay of proceedings and confirmed Ramelson’s convictions for child luring, communicating to obtain sexual services from a minor and arrangement to commit sexual offences against a person under 16. An online investigation by the York Regional Police, “Project Raphael”, led to the arrests of 104 men between 2014 and 2017 for child luring and related offences. Police posted ads on the escort subdirectory of Backpage.com. When potential clients responded through text message, an undercover officer, after agreeing to provide sexual services, revealed themselves to be underage and invited the client to a hotel room. All who attended the designated hotel room were arrested. In 2017, Ramelson responded by text message to one of the police ads posted by an undercover officer, who revealed she and her friend were 14, after having agreed to a transaction with Ramelson. When Ramelson arrived at the hotel room, he was arrested. Ramelson was convicted at trial but successfully applied for stay of proceedings based on entrapment. The application judge concluded Ramelson had been entrapped because the virtual space was too broad to support the police’s reasonable suspicion and the police lacked reasonable suspicion over Ramelson personally. The Court of Appeal concluded the application judge erred in finding Project Raphael was not a bona fide inquiry....
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