Poking holes in condoms is sexual assault: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa, Ont. (JOHN MAJOR/QMI AGENCY, file)

The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa, Ont. (JOHN MAJOR/QMI AGENCY, file)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:26 PM ET

OTTAWA — Poking holes in a lover's condoms is an act of sexual assault, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

The top court upheld an aggravated sexual assault conviction against Nova Scotia's Craig Jaret Hutchinson, who sabotaged his girlfriend's condoms on the sly to trick her into getting pregnant so they would stay together.

The woman — who would only consent to sex with Hutchinson if he wore a condom — got pregnant, had an abortion, then suffered a uterine infection and had to take antibiotics.

The Supreme Court agreed with the trial judge and the appeal court that while the woman consented to the "sexual activity in question," her request for a condom was an "essential feature" of that consent.

"When a woman agrees to have sexual intercourse with a condom, she is consenting to a particular sexual activity; it is a different sexual activity than sexual intercourse without a condom," the judges wrote in their unanimous decision Friday. "The deliberate and undisclosed thwarting of her agreement as to how the intercourse is to take place turns the sexual activity into a non-consensual act, regardless of its consequences."

Crown prosecutor Jim Gumpert said the ruling doesn't necessarily have broad implications for other cases because the Supreme Court upheld the existing law.

Gumpert said Hutchinson had surrendered to police the day before the ruling — a bail condition — and will serve the remainder of his 18-month sentence.

Hutchinson's lawyer, Luke Craggs, said he was disappointed by the court's decision.

"I obviously would have liked to see a different outcome," he told QMI Agency. "It has been a long and hard-fought battle which makes the outcome all the more disappointing."


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